Where can I find long essays?
January 31, 2012 7:30 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for substantive essays focused on US politics and society, preferably published in periodical form.

Ideally, I'd like to find the US equivalent of Quarterly Essay, an Australian periodical that publishes long form essays on Australian society and politics, along with responses and rebuttals to previous essays in the series.

What I'm looking for:
  • Long form: ~25,000 words or so. Shorter than a book, longer than a magazine article.
  • Contemporary: centered on current affairs and politics.
  • A periodical that provides a venue for a variety of authors.
  • A focus on the United States.
  • Footnotes.
posted by zamboni to Society & Culture (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
By asking for footnotes do you mean you want academic journal articles? For example Foreign Affairs, published by the Council on Foreign Relations, is the premier international affairs journal in the US. (It's less magazine-y and a little more substantial than Foreign Policy. I've heard it described as "epitomizing the idea of an IR 'establishment' publication") FA is where people like Zbigniew Brzezinski or Henry Kissinger will publish an article. It published George Kennan's famous "X article".

However its articles are relatively sparesly footnoted unlike, for example, International Studies Quarterly, which as an academic journal is always full of citations but is pretty inaccessible to someone outside the field.

Other ideas:

Check out Longform.org's politics section (they also host older "classic" pieces).

The Atlantic sometimes has good essays on American politics, but generally in the 8000 word range, and not footnoted.

Harpers is another option, similar to The Atlantic, maybe a bit more scholarly/footnote-y.

The National Interest is a quarterly foreign policy journal, from a more conservative viewpoint.

If you have a taste for polemics Matt Taibbi writes scorching ones, usually in Rolling Stone.
posted by Wretch729 at 8:06 AM on January 31, 2012

Brown Journal of World Affairs, Foreign Policy, Monthly Review (Marxist), Critical Review (formerly Libertarian, now more security state-ish)
posted by outlandishmarxist at 8:08 AM on January 31, 2012

National Affairs is a new conservative journal that seems to fit your criteria:
"National Affairs is a quarterly journal of essays about domestic policy, political economy, society, culture, and political thought. It aims to help Americans think a little more clearly about our public life, and rise a little more ably to the challenge of self-government.

Each issue features lively yet serious essays on the range of domestic issues: from economics and health care to education and welfare; from the legal debates of the day to enduring dilemmas of society and culture. We will devote special attention to the deeper theoretical questions of American self-government—seeking to cut through the conventional wisdom, help you make sense of complex issues, offer concrete proposals, and illuminate the ideas that move our politics."
posted by BobbyVan at 8:24 AM on January 31, 2012

On the financial crisis: Reading about the Financial Crisis - A 21-Book Review appeared on the Blue a few weeks ago. It is a very good read, and more importantly it led me to a resource.

SSRN has some great resources in general:
The Political Consequences of Uniformed Voters
Do Concerns about Labour Market Competition Shape Attitudes Toward Immigration? New Evidence
A Partisan Divide on the Uninsured

Really, just start browsing their library. There are some great .pdfs in there.
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:33 AM on January 31, 2012

That sounds like City Journal.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:50 AM on January 31, 2012

Bookforum's blog is a good clearinghouse for this sort of thing. While not always America-focused, it often is.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:07 AM on January 31, 2012

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