Politics & Policy

A Mash Note to Our Readers

Working at National Review brings with it many privileges, and among the most satisfying is getting to know our readers.

They often can remember the first time they picked up a copy of National Review, and it’s not unusual for it to have been decades ago. For many of them, it was a formative experience. NR opened up an intellectual world they had never heard about from their teachers or their peers.

Certainly, that’s the way it was for me. I saw Bill Buckley on Firing Line, decided I needed to check out his magazine, went down to the local drug store, and was disappointed to learn that it carried only The New Republic. Eventually, I tracked down a copy of NR — I believe, in my high-school library.

It proved to be an education, and a guide to further reading. Through NR, I learned about Frederick Hayek, Henry Hazlitt, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, Whittaker Chambers, Thomas Sowell, and so many more.

So, when our readers tell me what NR has meant to them, I know what they’re saying — because I feel exactly the same way.

If we could monetize the loyalty and impressiveness of our readers, we’d be swimming in gold.

If we could monetize the loyalty and impressiveness of our readers, we’d be swimming in gold. Alas, that’s not how the business works. Basically every opinion magazine known to man has lost money, and we are no exception.

Which brings us to another amazing thing about our readers: So many of them dig down to pitch in to support our enterprise, even though they can come here and read for free and even though subscribers to the print edition are already paying for one of our products.

This faithful generosity is truly something to behold — it has to qualify as one of the most extraordinary phenomena in publishing history. Whenever I tell outsiders who don’t know anything about us that this is a part of our model and has been for 50 years, they are astonished and mystified.

The reason I think our readers, or to put it more precisely, you, are so extraordinarily generous to us is that you have a sense that together we are holding in trust a national treasure.

After all this time, there is still nothing quite like NR: the quality of the writing and the thought; the debate that can be invigorating and maddening; the high-spiritedness and wit; the reporting that is credible and hard-hitting; the pipeline of new talent.

Our civilization is under assault and NR was conceived as, and still is, part of the arsenal in defense.

But we keep it going only with your help. Please consider chipping in to keep our mutual enterprise thriving. I don’t need to tell you the stakes in the relentless, grinding cultural war being waged by the Left, or, more prosaically, in the 2016 election.

Our civilization is under assault and NR was conceived as, and still is, part of the arsenal in defense.

Please give anything you can, so some kid years from now can tell us what it meant to him when he first picked up a copy of NR or came across us online.

We are grateful for every penny, and you can donate easily online here.

We can never repay your loyalty and devotion, except, perhaps, we hope, by getting up every day and pouring our hearts into this great little publication.

— Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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