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Top 20 US Progressives: Katrina vanden Heuvel

Editor, the Nation.

It is hard to imagine, given her pedigree, what else Katrina vanden Heuvel might have done but edit the Nation, the oldest left-wing magazine in the United States. Her parents are Jean Stein, the author and former editor of the literary journal Grand Street, and William vanden Heuvel, a former US ambassador and member of the John F Kennedy administration.

Vanden Heuvel studied politics and history at Princeton and interned at the Nation as an undergraduate, then joined the staff as assistant foreign editor in 1984. Eleven years later, she was appointed editor and in 2005 she became publisher. The title of one of her books, Taking Back America - and Taking Down the Radical Right (Nation Books, 2004), indicates her political compass. For nearly two decades, she has been a leading voice of the US left and, through the Nation, has provided a consistent, if underfunded, home for progressive writers and commentators.

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This article first appeared in the 09 January 2012 issue of the New Statesman, Forget Obama