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Steven Lagerfeld

Editor Steven Lagerfeld on the WQ's digital-only future. 

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1m 45sec

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 into adolescence, and to Jay Tolson, my brilliant predecessor, who grew it into adulthood. Many others, from editors and writers to businesspeople and financial supporters, have helped make the WQ what it is. But it is you, our readers, who have been the ultimate sustainers of the whole enterprise. The greatest reward for me and my colleagues has been our sense of serving a great community of restless, intellectually curious people—seekers. We hope you will seek us out on the other side of the digital divide.