Liberal magazines for my Mother Jones-loving Mom?
October 19, 2012 5:58 PM   Subscribe

Last year, I got my mom (a dedicated Northeastern liberal) subscriptions to several liberal magazines for Christmas. She loves Mother Jones hugely, and is OK on American Prospect and The Nation. This year, I want to renew the magazines she likes and send her more as well. The Atlantic is definitely in the mix, but are there others that I'm missing? Liberal books are good as well.

Sadly, websites are a no-go: she loves her Kindle but hates her Kindle Fire and hates computers in general.
posted by rednikki to Media & Arts (41 answers total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
ms and bitch....and lilith if she's a jew
posted by brujita at 6:01 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

seconding ms., bitch, and lilith
posted by spunweb at 6:03 PM on October 19, 2012

Funny Times is fabulous. It's one of the best things that happens to me every month. Very funny, very liberal.
posted by alms at 6:08 PM on October 19, 2012 [5 favorites]

Check out The Utne Reader.
posted by robverb at 6:09 PM on October 19, 2012 [6 favorites]

Utne Reader and Harper's
posted by drlith at 6:09 PM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

If she's a Christian, she might be interested in Sojourners.
posted by epj at 6:10 PM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

not American but the London Review of Books is absolutely superb.
posted by JPD at 6:22 PM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Liberal Magazines:
Washington Monthly
The New York Review of Books

Liberal Books:
The Big Con by Jonathan Chait
Nixonland by Rick Pearlstein
posted by Bokmakierie at 6:25 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ode Magazine.
The New Yorker.
posted by Miko at 6:36 PM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

The Sun & The New Yorker.

National Geographic? It's beautiful and when stuff is political it is usually liberal (pro-environment, pro-conservation, pro-human rights, pro-science, etc).
posted by min at 6:42 PM on October 19, 2012 [3 favorites]

Seconding Harpers.
posted by availablelight at 6:46 PM on October 19, 2012 [4 favorites]

Nthing the New Yorker. Bonus - it comes weekly, so she probably won't run out of reading material any day soon.
posted by spinifex23 at 6:48 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Like the New Yorker, this is a little off the purely political path but I love me some Texas Monthly. (I have been to Texas like twice in my life, it's just a great magazine.)
posted by lalex at 6:56 PM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Try looking at the Christian Science Monitor. From the name I thought it was a creepy religious paper but it wasn't at all. I only looked at a few issues but I remember thinking that my more rabidly republican family members would hate it. It says it's non-biased reporting but might be worth getting an issue and taking a look. Used to be a daily but looks like it's a weekly now & you can try it pretty cheaply. I may be totally off base but thought I'd throw it out there.
posted by BoscosMom at 7:13 PM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Not really traditionally liberal, but sometimes on the shelves of liberals I know, Granta is often an excellent read.
posted by carter at 7:28 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm partial to New Internationalist, not sure if it has a US edition it has a Canadian one and UK one. Great coverage from international perspective, lots of majority world authors and photographers, great writing, and diverse readership who write opinionated letters.

Each issue focueses on one main issue with a big infographic middle spread.

Also has lots of awesome music, movie and book reviews from all over the world that are great, I have often not heard of the books/movies until they are reviewed here.
posted by chapps at 7:28 PM on October 19, 2012

The Nation, The Progressive.

Both are superb.
posted by drhydro at 8:22 PM on October 19, 2012

Does she have any interest/connection to Canada? I can't recommend the Walrus enough but it definitely rates high on can-con.
posted by saucysault at 8:28 PM on October 19, 2012

Harper's is fantastic. If she's a big reader and could keep up with a weekly, the New Yorker.
posted by bluedaisy at 8:29 PM on October 19, 2012

The New Republic
posted by easy, lucky, free at 9:02 PM on October 19, 2012

It's not specifically liberal, but I really enjoy my subscription to Smithsonian Magazine that came with a Smithsonian membership. I don't know where in the Northeast she lives, but there are some membership benefits she may be able to use. It's also only $19.
posted by troika at 9:09 PM on October 19, 2012

I nth the suggestions for the Washington Monthly and the New Yorker, both are fantastic through and through.

Another one she might like is the Jim Hightower Lowdown, which has a muckraker sensibility that is kinda similar to MoJo. If she likes seriously leftist economics, Dollars and Sense is very smart but accessible, and often offers stories I don't see elsewhere.

I will actually vote against The Atlantic though, it sadly has really degraded in quality since David Bradley took over.
posted by susanvance at 9:25 PM on October 19, 2012

Pacific Standard
posted by lakeroon at 9:42 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would actually recommend Oxford American. It's a southern magazine with a creative and progressive stance.
posted by greta simone at 10:01 PM on October 19, 2012

In These Times. I'm surprised that hasn't already been mentioned—I thought it was a standard.
posted by she's not there at 10:01 PM on October 19, 2012

Pacific Standard is exactly what I thought of when I read your question. It's a high quality publication, with well-thought out graphics, well-edited articles (long enough but not rambling), and coverage of topics of national importance that often haven't caught on with the national media. It would truly be a good compliment to the other progressive publications.
posted by eelgrassman at 10:02 PM on October 19, 2012

Thanks for all the tips, everyone! I know several of these will go down a treat.
posted by rednikki at 10:14 PM on October 19, 2012

Tikkun if Jewish. Also nthing the New Yorker.
posted by Wordwoman at 10:31 PM on October 19, 2012

Lapham Quarterly for longer-form stuff.
posted by rhizome at 11:26 PM on October 19, 2012

Culled from my RSS feeds:

I second the recommendations of The Nation, Utne Reader, and Harper's. I am also leery of The Atlantic - they are trending the way of Slate and Salon.

Also try: The New Inquiry, Boston Review, and The Point Magazine. For something a little more out there (cf. the name), Jacobin Magazine.

If she likes literature and criticism, I really love The Paris Review.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:26 AM on October 20, 2012

For a heady (and addictive - I buy it compulsively) mix of literature, reportage, photography and poetry I would also recommend Granta.

Each issue is arranged around a theme. As back issues are easily available from Amazon or bookshops, you could start with Issue 116 (about the impact of 9/11 on the world) and see what she makes of it.
posted by Talkie Toaster at 3:39 AM on October 20, 2012

Hi, just to pop in something that is meaty and more of a world perspective from the American viewpoint, why not try Foreign Affairs.

It´s not a liberal read at first glance but it is a larger platform for interpretation of the world.

Depending on if your mother wants to dig deeper, it could be a good fit.
posted by Funmonkey1 at 5:02 AM on October 20, 2012

Oops after posting. the correct link is

Not the mangled URL provided.
posted by Funmonkey1 at 5:09 AM on October 20, 2012

The Economist isn't overtly liberal, but has much wider coverage of the world. I'm very liberal, and love it. It's weekly, with long articles, and I don't even try to keep up.
posted by theora55 at 5:36 AM on October 20, 2012

I always say this with the Economist - it's really good and interesting on global coverage of politics and culture, but it's super-super-pro-free-market, which can make articles on economics and trade angst-inducing for an economic progressive. Unlike in US media, though, the free-market ideology isn't tightly coupled to socially conservative ideology, so the other content is still great.
posted by Miko at 5:42 AM on October 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

In addition to what's already been mentioned here (seconding Dollars & Sense and The New Internationalist):
Z Magazine (a bit more left than "liberal," but some interesting ideas)
The Progressive Populist
posted by Rykey at 9:38 AM on October 20, 2012

The Guardian Weekly is formatted more like a newspaper than a magazine, but it has a lot of long-form pieces and culture features in addition to current events reporting with an international focus.
posted by nonane at 10:33 AM on October 20, 2012

Yes, ditto, to the New York Review of Books.
posted by fivesavagepalms at 11:33 AM on October 20, 2012

Seconding the Guardian Weekly.
posted by kjs4 at 3:20 PM on October 20, 2012

The Washington Spectator (newsletter, has a DC-insider perspective). Website is

For a global view, rather than Foreign Affairs (the Council on Foreign Relations is part turkey-farm, imho), consider the English print editon of Le Monde Diplomatique.
posted by diodotos at 5:58 PM on October 20, 2012

Seconding The Progressive.
posted by maggieb at 7:14 PM on October 20, 2012

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