Friday, October 30, 2015

National Review at 60

current issue
The current special issue of National Review celebrates the 60th year in publication of the magazine. I've subscribed since I was in high school although now the subscription is digital. I discovered that the college library had back issues all the way to issue one. For some years I sent each year's collection of my magazines off to be bound and I once had a bookshelf full of the bound issues. I very much identify with the current editor's experience.

Rich Lowry:
As was the case for so many of our readers (some of them share their stories of their first copy of the magazine in this issue), NR was an education. An earnestly active reader, I underlined what seemed the most important bits. Whenever I didn’t understand something, I took it as a challenge, not an affront. I used NR as a bibliography for a conservative education, finding my way to Henry Hazlitt, C.S. Lewis, Whittaker Chambers, and others through its pages. ....
the masthead for issue 1
The editors on the current challenges:
.... Playboy magazine, two years our senior, announced that it will no longer run pictures of naked women. That is because doing so is now superfluous, the sexual revolution having become an empire, omnipresent and unshakeable. Neither culture nor law any longer respects the ideal that children deserve a father and a mother, and the Supreme Court has read the new dispensation into the Constitution. Fifty-six million human beings have been consumed by the abortion Moloch. After a generation of legalized abortion, polls show sentiment turning against it, even among the young. Will it take another generation before we stop bleeding lives, and humanity?

Although the world is free of an international Communist movement, China (still Communist) and Russia (now Putinist) behave like amoral great powers. More dangerous, because unconstrained by ordinary calculations of survival, is Islamist terror. The Soviet Union never killed 3,000 Americans in one morning. A nuclear-armed Iran or a nuclear-armed ISIS may do it again, or worse. To meet both challenges, the United States needs a large, resilient military and a foreign-policy establishment that knows who our enemies are. ....
It is a big issue with many contributors. The book section asks for "books that shaped [their] minds" from its contributors. I think I may particularly enjoy that. Hours of good reading ahead.