COMMENTARY is America’s premier monthly magazine of opinion and a pivotal voice in American intellectual life. Since its inception in 1945, and increasingly after it emerged as the flagship of neoconservatism in the 1970s, the magazine has been consistently engaged with several large, interrelated questions: the fate of democracy and of democratic ideas in a world threatened by totalitarian ideologies; the state of American and Western security; the future of the Jews, Judaism, and Jewish culture in Israel, the United States, and around the world; and the preservation of high culture in an age of political correctness and the collapse of critical standards.
Many of COMMENTARY’s articles have been controversial, and more than a few have been hugely influential, touchstones for debate and discussion in universities, among policy analysts in and out of government, within the ranks of professionals and community activists of all kinds, and in circles of serious thought worldwide. A large number of articles can be counted as landmarks of American letters and intellectual life. Agree with it or disagree with it, COMMENTARY cannot be ignored. To read it is to take part in the great American discussion.
COMMENTARY was founded in 1945 by the American Jewish Committee. To learn more about AJC, which has worked since 1906 to safeguard and strengthen Jews and Jewish life worldwide by promoting democratic and pluralistic societies that respect the dignity of all peoples, click here.
From its founding in November 1945, COMMENTARY has been, as our founder and first editor Elliot Cohen wrote at that time, “an act of affirmation.” It remains an expression of belief in the United States, perhaps most of all in America’s central role in the preservation and advance of Western civilization and, most immediately, the continuing existence of the Jewish people. COMMENTARY, in the words of Cohen, “is an act of faith in our possibilities in America.”
More than six decades later, the publication of COMMENTARY remains an act of faith—faith in the power of ideas, in tradition and the value of defending tradition, and faith in America and the West. COMMENTARY is an act of faith in its singular approach to the consideration of the traditions of Judaism and Jewish life. The traditions of Western civilization, of which the Hebrew Bible is the wellspring, are also our constant concern. COMMENTARY is a reflection of and, taken as a whole, a reflection on the manifold glories of the West and the inestimable contribution it has made to the betterment of humankind. Most of all, through our publication of articles on political, historical, cultural, and theological issues, as well as fiction and memoirs, COMMENTARY is an act of faith in the importance and transformative effect of ideas.
From our beginning under Elliot E. Cohen, to Norman Podhoretz, the magazine’s second editor, to Neal Kozodoy, its third, and now to current editor John Podhoretz, COMMENTARY‘s mission remains anchored in these principles: to maintain, sustain, and cultivate the future of the Jewish people; to bear witness against anti-Semitism and defend Zionism and the State of Israel; to take inventory in and increase the storehouse of the best that has been thought and said; and to stand with and for the West and its finest flowering, the United States.