Politics (journal)

Politics (journal)

Politics was a journal founded and edited by Dwight Macdonald from 1944 to 1949.

Macdonald had previously been editor at Partisan Review from 1937 to 1943, but after falling out with its publishers, quit to start Politics as a rival publication, first on a monthly basis and then as a quarterly.

Politics published essays on politics and culture and included among its contributors James Agee, John Berryman, Bruno Bettelheim, Paul Goodman, C. Wright Mills, Mary McCarthy, Marianne Moore, Irving Howe, Daniel Bell, Hannah Arendt.

The journal reflected Macdonald’s interest in European culture. He used Politics to introduce US readers to the thinking of the French philosopher Simone Weil, publishing several articles by her, including "A Poem of Force", her reflections on the Iliad. He also printed work by Albert Camus. Another European, the Italian political and literary critic Nicola Chiaromonte, was also given space in the journal.

Politics was also Macdonald’s vehicle for his repeated and violent attacks against Henry Wallace and his Progressive Party campaign for President.

In a letter to Philip Rahv at the end of December 1943, George Orwell mentioned that Macdonald had written asking him to contribute to his forthcoming journal. Orwell had replied telling him he might "do something ‘cultural’" but not ‘political’ as he was already writing his "London Letters" to Partisan Review.

In his "As I Please" article for the 16 June 1944 issue of Tribune, George Orwell recommended Politics. He stated that he disagreed with its policy but admired "its combination of highbrow political analysis with intelligent literary criticism." He went on to add that there were no monthly or quarterly magazines in England "to come up to" the American ones, of which there were several.

Macdonald, in an editorial comment for the November 1944 issue of Politics referred to a letter from Orwell which cast interesting light on the ‘russification’ of English political thought over the last two years. Orwell had read the May issue’s review of Harold Laski’s Faith, Reason and Civilisation and mentioned that the Manchester Evening News, the evening edition of the Manchester Guardian, had refused to print his own review because of its anti-Stalin implications. Despite considering the book "pernicious tripe", Orwell had praised the author for being "aware that the USSR is the real dynamo of the Socialist movement in this country and everywhere else.", but criticized him for shutting his eyes to "purges, liquidations", etc. Macdonald pointed out that the fact that such a review should be considered "too hot" shows how much the feats of the Red Army had misled the English public opinion about Russia. He added that the "English liberal press had been far more honest about the Moscow Trials than our own liberal journals" and that Trotsky had been able to write in the Guardian.

Read more about Politics (journal):  Dwight Macdonald: Culture As Politics - and Politics As Culture, Allied Conduct of The Second World War, European Intellectuals, Toward A Recovered Humanism, The Counterculture of Anarchist Humanism: Prologue To The 1960s, Counteracting The Soviet Myth, Culture, High, Middlebrow and Mass, Publishing and Circulation, Reception and Influence, Notable Contributors, See Also

Famous quotes containing the word politics:

    Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.
    George Washington (1732–1799)