The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 on the notion that a handful of plucky young writers and editors, armed with an honest desire to make government work and a willingness to ask uncomfortable questions, could tell the story of what really matters in Washington better than a roomful of Beltway insiders at a Georgetown dinner party. In our cluttered little downtown DC office, we’re still doing what we have done for over forty years, and what fewer and fewer publications do today: telling fascinating, deeply reported stories about the ideas and characters that animate America’s government.
We don’t chase news cycles, or obsess over the endless political horse race. We care about how the government can be improved, and why it hasn’t; who’s a fraud and who isn’t; which ideas ought to be banished from the nation’s capital and which ones deserve to be championed.
We’re not a subsidiary of some giant media company or a mouthpiece for ideologues. We’re an independent voice, listened to by insiders and willing to take on sacred cows—liberal and conservative.
Instead of cynically tearing down institutions and programs, we offer innovative solutions: how to get the best people to work for the government and how to get the best government for the people; how to get teachers who can teach and social workers who can make welfare reform work. We believe in the great American traditions of civic responsibility, caring for the down and out, and giving the average person a break.
Publisher: Diane Straus Tucker
Contributing Editors: Jonathan Alter, Steve Benen,James Bennet, Thomas N. Bethell, Tom Bethell, Katherine Boo, Taylor Branch, Nick Confessore, Matthew Cooper, Michelle Cottle, Kevin Drum, Gregg Easterbrook, John Eisendrath, James Fallows, T.A. Frank, Daniel Franklin, John Gravois, Joshua Green, Charles Homans, David Ignatius, Mickey Kaus, Phil Keisling, Michael Kinsley, Christina Larson, Nicholas Lemann, Suzannah Lessard, Arthur Levine, Joshua Micah Marshall, Jon Meacham, Stephanie Mencimer, Matthew Miller, Rachel Morris, Timothy Noah, Joseph Nocera, John Rothchild, David Segal, Walter Shapiro, Joshua Wolf Shenk, Amy Sullivan, Nicholas Thompson, Steven Waldman, Benjamin Wallace-Wells, Robert Worth
Editorial Advisory Board: Nicholas Lemann, Chair; Clara Bingham, Debra Dickerson, James Fallows, Steven Teles
Founder’s Board: Charles W. Bailey (1929-2012) , Russell Baker, James David Barber (1930–2004), Edgar Cahn, David Halberstam (1934–2007), Murray Kempton (1917–1997), Peter Lisagor (1915–1976), Richard Reeves, Richard H. Rovere (1915–1979), Hugh Sidey (1927–2005), James C. Thomson III (1931–2002)
Board of Directors: Jeffrey Leonard, Chair; Paul Glastris; Nicholas Leman; Diane Straus Tucker
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Thanks to generous long-term support from foundations and donors, the Washington Monthly is thriving. After President Kennedy hired our founder Charlie Peters to evaluate Peace Corps programs around the world, the writing that came back was so good that Peters decided to launch a magazine, The Washington Monthly. Since 1969 the magazine has prided itself on launching the careers of journalists who have risen to the pinnacle of the profession, including Nicholas Lemann, Dean of the Columbia School of Journalism; Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, Katherine Boo and Nicholas Thompson of the New Yorker; James Fallows and James Bennet of the Atlantic, Michael Kinsley, founder of Slate, Amy Sullivan of Time, historian Taylor Branch, David Ignatius of the Washington Post, and Joe Nocera and Nicholas Confessore of the New York Times, among others.
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