Victor Navasky, publisher of The Nation, was interviewed in the Boston Globe back on June 19.
It was a pretty short interview, but there were two bits I wanted to share.
On the Nation's circulation in the Bush era --- this could be viewed as a positive for those of us who often find ourselves not agreeing with the president. Navasky:
Since the start of Bush's presidency we've almost doubled our circulation. Our last audit showed we had something like 184,000 subscribers, compared to something like 20,000 when I got there in 1978. It has been going up steadily over the years, but it took a special leap in this most recent period.
He quotes "Deadline Poet" Calvin Trillin describing the Nation on the "Tonight Show." "The only magazine where the Xerox copy looks better than the original." (People in the world of poetry small presses could, I'm sure, point to other such magazines.)
I really admire Navasky by extension, because I admire and faithfully read the Nation. Although I'm about a dozen issues behind right now. I haven't throw them away yet, so don't count me out. I'm not sure I'm interested enough in the publishing world to read his new book, "A Matter of Opinion", but I might look into it. It's an interesting job he has, maintaining an intellectual magazine, trying to grow its circulation while sticking to some ideals. I do like to read about how others deal with this sticky tension between capitalism and a "higher" purpose.