The NS Recommends: US Magazines

Our pick from online and in print.

The Baffler

Thomas Frank and Keith White were students at the University of Virginia when they launched the Baffler in 1988. Frank became editor-in-chief three years later. Though its concerns were to become more explicitly political, the Baffler always eschewed “wonkery, moralism [and] dialectical obfuscation”. It ceased publication in 2007 before being revived in 2011 by new editor John Summers. In his inaugural editorial, Summers declared that the Baffler’s aim was to “debunk the dogmas that discourage the intuitions of experience from fully forming in a critical intelligence”. 



Jacobin was launched as an online magazine in 2010. The first print edition of the journal appeared later that year. Its editors describe it as a “magazine of culture and polemic”. Five issues have been published so far, and they have included essays on the US constitution, the United Farm Workers union, Eric Hobsbawm and, inevitably, Occupy Wall Street, which its founding editor, Bhaskar Sunkara, described as a “reassertion of democratic politics at its purest”.


Los Angeles Review of Books

The  was launched in response to one of the defining paradoxes of the age: “Twenty times as many titles are published each year than were a quarter century ago, and we have one twentieth of the serious print book reviews.” The near-death of the newspaper book supplement in the US leaves the field open not only for blogs and fan-sites but also for journals committed to the art of “full-range” reviewing”. The Review’s new website was unveiled on 19 April.


The Millions

Like the LARB, the Millions exists online only. The site was created in 2003 by C Max Magee and publishes features on “books, arts and culture” as well as reviews. 

This article first appeared in the 23 April 2012 issue of the New Statesman, Islamophobia on trial