What are the quality magazines of Conservative (U.S.) political/social opinion?
December 27, 2007 3:21 PM   Subscribe

What are the quality magazines of Conservative (U.S.) political/social opinion?

Currently I take the New Yorker, which I love to read because I find the subject matter of the articles fascinating but also, if I'm being honest, because it's generally congruent with my ideology. Recently I read an article I found thought-provoking (this one, via) from The American Interest and it occurred to me that I'm clueless as to what are the quality publications with a conservative/neo-conservative/libertarian bent. What's worth subscribing to?

Point of clarification: I'm not necessarily looking for U.S. publications exclusively, but I'd like something sympathetic to what we call Conservatism here in the states. (e.g. low/no taxes, aversion to gay marriage and abortion, etc). Also I'd like to stay away from religious magazines as much as possible (not compelling for me).

Thanks in advance!
posted by radiosig to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Bill Kristol's The Weekly Standard stands out in my mind, though I must admit I've never read an issue. It is advertised as a bastion of neoconservatism rather heavily on Fox, though, and Jon Stewart often invites Kristol onto the Daily Show for some decent debates on the war in Iraq.

Check out their site here, and Wiki's article on them here
posted by Rhaomi at 3:33 PM on December 27, 2007

Crap, missed a quotation mark in that last HTML link. The Wiki article is here.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:35 PM on December 27, 2007

Response by poster: Rhaomi --

Thanks for that suggestion. I was worried when I read on Wikipedia that The Weekly Standard "is very popular among United States President George W. Bush's administration" but perhaps that dubious distinction is not paramount among its merits (let's hope).
posted by radiosig at 3:41 PM on December 27, 2007

National Review, of course. American Spectator.
posted by The Deej at 3:48 PM on December 27, 2007

On the "Paleo" side is The American Conservative, makes for blistering reading at times. I prefer the tech-and-society focused The New Atlantis and the literary The New Criterion. Both provide conservative perspectives that run deeper than news commentary, even if they're not as eclectic as The New Yorker can be.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 3:49 PM on December 27, 2007

Reason is a libertarian magazine -- very anti-tax and pro-"market". There is very little Christian conservative type stuff (anti-abortion, Ten Commandments in the classroom, etc.), though, from what of it I've read, but it is very anti-feminist. May be what you're after.
posted by cog_nate at 3:50 PM on December 27, 2007

National Review is your number 1 stop. It was founded by William F. Buckley. NRO Corner is a blog they run with multiple contributers.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 4:06 PM on December 27, 2007

Conservative in some ways: Reason Magazine. They say it best:

"Reason is the monthly print magazine of “free minds and free markets.” It covers politics, culture, and ideas through a provocative mix of news, analysis, commentary, and reviews. Reason provides a refreshing alternative to right-wing and left-wing opinion magazines by making a principled case for liberty and individual choice in all areas of human activity."

Check out their blog and print archive for a taste. Here's a typical article from the latest issue.
posted by Pants! at 4:18 PM on December 27, 2007

Best answer: City Journal has excellent, in-depth articles. It's not Conservative socially or in a Christian Right sort of way. It's just very intelligently critical of liberal government largesse and the influence of liberal thought on the public. Very smart publication.
posted by Doctor Suarez at 4:25 PM on December 27, 2007

(though they also cover the UK. Still, very good pieces)
posted by Doctor Suarez at 4:26 PM on December 27, 2007

Best answer: First Things and Commentary are very important. The former is the journal of record of one might call the the ecemunical religious right (Catholic-led but with a vibrant presence from what's left of the small-o orthodox Mainstream Protestants, and that portion Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism who will work with Catholics, and a small Jewish participation.) The latter is the long-established voice of Jewish conservatism; not the only voice as it was for many years, but still influential.
posted by MattD at 5:12 PM on December 27, 2007

Commentary (like the New York Review of Books for conservatives), National Review (well respected by conservative establishment), Weekly Standard (read by everyone at the White House when it is delivered weekly), the American Conservative (paleo-conservative publication)
posted by HotPatatta at 8:24 PM on December 27, 2007

(e.g. low/no taxes, aversion to gay marriage and abortion, etc)

Libertarian is definitely not the same thing as conservative. If you're looking for aversion to gay marriage and other socially conservative views, you're not going to find them in libertarian publications. Libertarians also oppose most of the foreign policy and immigration positions held by conservatives of all stripes. Even when they do agree, libertarian rationales for advocating particular economic policies are often very different from conservative reasons for advocating the same policies. Many libertarian publications will also express more permissive views than some mainstream publications of the left on social issues such as drug policy, freedom to marry, etc.

I mention this not because I don't think you should read libertarian publications. I think that if you want to learn more about others' views, you should read a variety of different publications, and something like Reason would be an excellent one to add to the mix. But if you pick up Reason, you're not going to find what you described in your question, other than advocacy of lower taxes.
posted by decathecting at 9:25 PM on December 27, 2007

seconding commentary magazine. sometimes foreign affairs magazine has great stuff as well (right now it's mc cain and rice). there is a lot for you out there.

kudos on reading the new yorker even though it's not compatible with most of your beliefs (I suspect you are talking about the hendrick herzberg 'talk of the town' pieces). few people look across the aisle, much less reach.
posted by krautland at 6:54 AM on December 28, 2007

Best answer: The publications of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (which isn't just for college students are important.):

"Modern Age" was founded by Russell Kirk and continues roughly in his tradition.

"Intercollegiate Review" seems to be aimed at introducing conservative ideas.

"The University Bookman" and the annual "Political Science Reviewer" are their stand-alone reviews.

"The Claremont Review of Books" is published at the right leaning Claremont Graduate School.

"The National Interest" is published by the Nixon Center and focuses on realist foreign policy.

"Policy Review" is published by the Hoover Institution (and used to be owned by the Heritage Foundation), but isn't I think as good as it used to be. Roughly comparable to "City Journal" in content but less urban/NYC centric.

"Imprimis" is a free newsletter from the conservative Hillsdale College that publishes excerpts from speeches by conservative leaders (and you can't beat the price).

"Regulation" is published by the American Enterprise Institute, guess what the topic is?

"The Federalist Review" is the Law Journal of the Federalist Society (roughly the conservative analogue to the ACLU or the National Lawyers Guild except that they don't sue people themselves). Articles by guys like John Woo appear there.

"Human Life Review" is a leading organ of the pro-life movement.
posted by Jahaza at 8:39 AM on December 28, 2007

Plus, of course, Americans read the British "Spectator".

And take a look at back issues of "The Public Interest", now defunct, to see what neo-conservative domestic policy looks like (now largely American orthodoxy).

Oh and you know about the Wall Street Journal, the New York Sun, and the Washington Times right? Lesser conservative papers include the NY Post and the New Hampshire (formerly Manchester) Union Leader (but mostly every 4-years and less hard-line than it used to be.)
posted by Jahaza at 8:43 AM on December 28, 2007

Response by poster: i want to thank everyone who responded to this post for illuminating suggestions. at this point -- lots to mull over.
posted by radiosig at 9:20 AM on January 8, 2008

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