Some years ago, we were rummaging through a used bookshop in Tunbridge Wells, England. Among our discoveries was a book whose title promised much: Why Life Speeds Up as You Get Older. We’re not sure that the book actually delivered on its promise, but there can be no doubt that it hit upon a universally recognized phenomenon. Here we are, on the run up to our final issue of the 2020–21 season, and yet it seems only yesterday—or, at most, last week—that we were writing finis to the June 2020 issue. As we write now, spring seems to have sprung in a metaphorical as well as a literal sense. As businesses are allowed to open up and people begin to shed their masks, we feel a bit like Rip Van Winkle awakening after an extended hibernation. We yawn, stretch, and rub our eyes, wondering what has happened to the world around us. Taking that inventory will be a long and tedious task. But as we prepare to put our June 2021 issue to bed we find ourselves Janus-faced, looking before and after.

First, we are delighted to have this opportunity to thank the many hundreds of readers who stuck with us through this strangest of seasons. Your support, moral as well as material, has made all the difference. We are also delighted to have this opportunity to recognize and thank that stalwart band of brothers (and sisters) who have helped to support our work with donations of $25,000 or more this last year. As in years past, we would like to begin by acknowledging our debt to the late, lamented John M. Olin Foundation, which helped to start The New Criterion in the early 1980s, and to the late Donald Kahn, whose timely and munificent generosity rescued the magazine at a moment of exigent economic peril. In this same category of munificence belong the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation, both of which have generously supported The New Criterion for decades. They are the conditiones sine qua non of our work. This year, we are also delighted to thank Elizabeth Ailes, the Blavatnik Family Foundation, the Carson-Myre Charitable Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Brandon Fradd, the Gale Foundation, the Gilder Foundation, the Hickory Foundation, The Kleinschmidt Family Foundation, the Thomas D. Klingenstein Fund, Christopher Laconi, Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder, The Marcus Foundation, the Paul Marshall Charitable Foundation, the Fred Maytag Family Foundation, the Dian Graves Owen Foundation, David Packard, Don and Donna Riley, the Thomas W. Smith Foundation, the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, Edward A. Studzinski, Mr. and Mrs. James M. Wintersteen, and Helen Zell. Finally, we would like to acknowledge that great but too-seldom-recognized force for good, Anonymous, whose benefactions once again have been critical in helping us man the ramparts of cultural renewal. We are deeply grateful to you all. Thank you for your counsel and for your intellectual as well as your financial support. The New Criterion could not exist without you.

Second, a brief preview of coming attractions. Even as we put the finishing touches on our June 2021 issue, we are looking forward to the next season, our fortieth (talk about time speeding up as one gets older!). We shall be sharing more particulars about our plans for this milestone in the coming months. For now, we are pleased to announce that our September 2021 edition will be a special, expanded anniversary issue. It will feature many of your favorite New Criterion writers as well as several new names. The issue will also inaugurate a yearlong series on “Western civilization at the crossroads.” Stay with us. It promises to be a year full of celebration and insight.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 39 Number 10, on page 3
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