With this issue, we bring Volume 35 of The New Criterion to a close. It is not quite, however, the end of our thirty-fifth anniversary celebrations. We intend to prolong that holiday into the autumn and beyond with a number of commemorative events, including the publication of Vox Populi: The Perils and Promises of Populism, which will gather the ten essays, revised and expanded, that have composed our special series this year. Look for it at bookstores this fall. Still, this issue, which carries our final essay on the phenomenon of populism, does mark the end of an important chapter in the history of The New Criterion. When we look back over the course of these three and a half decades, we find ourselves beset by sharply conflicting impressions. On the one hand, 1982, when Hilton Kramer and Samuel Lipman got together to start The New Criterion, seems a long time ago. Some of us at the World Headquarters were not yet born. And yet for those of us around in the early years of the magazine, it seems almost like yesterday—well, the week before last—that a brash new cultural monthly arrived on the scene to disturb the complacent equanimity of the art world and the world of academia. One thing that has been borne in upon us all is the recognition that The New Criterion could never have persisted and thrived without the help of its friends. It is a pleasure to take a moment to celebrate those enlightened individuals and institutions that have made our work possible over the years and, especially, have helped make our thirty-fifth anniversary such a success. It is a long list, longer every year, and we wish to extend a hearty “Thank you!” to everyone who contributed to The Cause. Thirty-five years is an astonishing anniversary for a small, pugnacious magazine devoted to serious cultural criticism. We could never have achieved this milestone if it were not for you, our readers and co-collaborators who understand the importance of robust cultural criticism to the health of a democratic society. We wish to pay particular homage to the late, great John M. Olin Foundation, which was there at the creation of The New Criterion and which supported our work for decades. The Sarah Scaife Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation have likewise been essential partners in our endeavors. We are more grateful than we can say for their stalwart support. In recent years, Olin, Scaife, and Bradley have been joined by other partisans of permanent things. The late Donald Kahn intervened at a critical moment to provide generous and essential support for more than a decade. This year, in addition to acknowledging the key support of a few anonymous donors—you know who you are—we want to mention our Editors’ Circle donors Cliff & Laurel Asness, The Blavatnik Family Foundation, The Gale Foundation, The Carson-Myre Charitable Foundation, Arthur Cinader, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Marina Kellen French, Richard Gilder, Paul Isaac, The J. M. Foundation, Virginia James, Thomas D. Klingenstein, The Marcus Foundation, The Fred Maytag Family Foundation, James Piereson, The Pinkerton Foundation, Annette de la Renta, The Thomas W. Smith Foundation, Edward Studzinski, The Triad Foundation, Alan D. White, George Yeager, and Helen Zell. We thank you all for your continued support. The New Criterion could not exist without you.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 35 Number 10, on page 3
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