SeekersPOSTED: Jul 26, 2012 02:50 PM
By Steven Lagerfeld
There is no easy way to say it: Our new Summer issue is the last print edition of The Wilson Quarterly.
Beginning with the Autumn issue, the WQ will appear in digital form only—as an app available for Apple and Android devices, on the Nook and Kindle, and as a PDF available for download on your computer. It is a change born of both economic necessity and faith in the future. We hope you will join us on the next leg of a journey that has already stretched over 36 years.
Technology is often painted as an enemy, a disrupter, but that has not been our experience at the WQ. Without the technological advances of the last two decades, this magazine would not have survived. I don’t remember with any great fondness the days when editors leafed through mounds of books in search of illustrations, then set assistants to work typing letters to hidebound clerks at distant museums begging them to mail copies of the selected images, before the next millennium, please. Thanks to online databases and other resources, we can now do that work quickly, with many fewer hands. I distinctly remember the excitement I felt in 2001 when we were able to gather essays from all over the globe via e-mail for our cluster “How the World Views America.”
Still, this is an apt moment to salute all that has gone before. I tip my hat to the late Peter Braestrup, the Yale-educated former Marine who pulled off the astonishing feat of launching the WQ in 1976 and shepherding it... READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY >>
What We're ReadingPOSTED: Jul 23, 2012 10:48 AM
Cullen Nutt: Yesterday I finished the last line of Alan Jacobs’ slim but satisfying book The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction. Though it’s a mere 150 pages, it took me several months to finally go the distance. Jacobs, an English professor at Wheaton College in Illinois, might applaud this. He argues in favor of reading slowly and deliberately, of taking more notes, of re-reading, and, most important, of reading at Whim, which he reverentially capitalizes. Reading at Whim means letting go of guilt and obligation and reading what interests us. It also means shaking off the dangerous habit of reading to have read: to impress other people or to check off a book from some list. (I’m guilty of these tendencies.) Little wonder that 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die comes in for some very harsh criticism here.
In fact, Jacobs would rather we bluff than surrender whim. “It is wrong to lie, but it may be still more wrong to read a bunch of books you don’t want to read,” he writes, “in order to impress people whose opinion you shouldn’t be deferring to anyhow.” Instead, “take a little time to figure out what people will be impressed to hear that you’re reading, use Wikipedia to find out just enough about these books to enable you to bluff plausibly when questioned—and then go back home and read whatever you want to read.” Amen to Whim.
Darcy Courteau: I just finished David... READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY >>
Clairvoyants and Cassandras in the WQPOSTED: Jul 02, 2012 11:44 AM
By Michael Hendrix
The theme of “the future” occupies an especially beloved space in The Wilson Quarterly’s history. The WQ’s 30th anniversary issue in 2006, “Reading the Future,” devoted itself to ruminations on things to come and the history of such forecasts. The authors waxed Nostradomically on everything from the global spread of English and advancements in human biotechnology, to the effect of pharmaceuticals on the future of love. It’s still too early to tell how these predictions will pan out, but the verdict is in on a handful of other WQ prognostications from past years.
In the Summer 1996 cluster on health care, C. Everett Koop's “The Future of the Hospital,” aired concerns about coming budgetary pressures on hospitals exerted by for-profit health management organizations (HMOs). The former U.S. Surgeon General also worried that the managed care system was failing to reduce healthcare costs. His worries now appear justified—the per capita national health expenditure more than doubled between 1997 and 2010. Eric J. Cassell argued, as many still do, that in an increasingly complex and expensive healthcare system, more support for primary care is “the only choice that makes sense.” The Obama administration shares Cassel’s view on the importance of primary care. (And, luckily, medical students are also going into primary care at higher rates than before.) Highly relevant today is Willard Gaylin&rsquo... READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY >>
WQ editors share their winter weather reads.
If football is harmful to players, is it ethical to be a fan?
Germans know how to enjoy themselves during the holidays, but don’t invade their Internet privacy.
Two new books illuminate politics high and low—the role of high principle and the urgency of land grabs around the world.
College football success upends boys’ grades, but girls may actually benefit.
One photographer's journey to trace his family roots yielded an image for our fall issue.
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