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Journals of Opinion and the Work of Democracy: Conversation with Victor Navasky, Publisher and former Editor of The Nation, September 16, 2005, by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Victor Navasky, who is publisher and editorial director of The Nation. book coverFor sixteen years he was Editor of The Nation. He's the author of several books, including Kennedy Justice; Naming Names, which won the National Book Award; and most recently, A Matter of Opinion. He is the Delacorte Professor of Journalism at Columbia, and here is his new book.

  1. Background ... Rudolph Steiner School ... other early schooling ... Yale Law School ... influencial professors
  2. On Satire ... the Monocle ... discovering the business aspect of magazine publication ... humor vs. satire
  3. Research ... scholars vs. reporters ... Kennedy Justice ... Naming Names ... informed by political theory ... Robert Kennedy and J. Edgar Hoover
  4. Being an Editor ... sensitivity to a writer's concerns ... comparing New York Times Magazine and The Nation ... captive to The Nation's tradition ... special responsibility ... learning the ropes at the Times ... breaking new ground
  5. Opinion Journals ... role in democratic society ... reasoned argumentation ... setting the agenda ... permanent minority ... dialogue ... provoking outrage ... collaborating with foreign leftist journals
  6. The Business of Publishing ... inherent tension between publisher and editor ... unsatisfactory solutions ... The Nation's solution ... mainstream media conglomerates ... unique position of The Nation ... building up the subscription base ... advice for students

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