Right-wing journal quietly dies
When the conservative magazine Policy Review recently announced that it was ceasing publication after a 36-year run, few outside the Hoover Institution journal seemed to notice its demise. “The Hoover Institution wants to focus more on the work of its own fellows and scholars,” editor Tod Lindberg explained to Salon. Unlike the period of mourning usually observed when an elite periodical dies, no eulogies were written for Policy Review in other publications. In fact, I cannot find a single reference in a conservative outlet to Policy Review’s death.
That says little about the journal’s value and more about our era’s level of intellectual conservation. Whatever Policy Review’s failings, the magazine was well written and challenged its readers’ attention spans. Its last issue was typical: engaging multi-thousand-word essays on foreign affairs and American politics, and learned long-form book reviews examining literature. And yet, format aside, Policy Review failed to accomplish its mission: It didn’t foster a rethinking of right-wing ideas. By its end, like the rest of the conservative movement, it was incapable of challenging its own orthodoxies, no matter how obsolete they were.