Victor S. Navasky, Author . Farrar, Straus & Giroux $26 (458p) ISBN 978-0-374-29997-2

As the mordant maxim byword at the offices of a certain left-wing weekly has it, "If it's bad for the country, it's good for The Nation " (the magazine's circulation has risen 71% since the 2000 election of George Bush). Of course, an alternative theory might emphasize Navasky's sure-handed stewardship of the country's "oldest weekly magazine" over the last 25 years. After editing a prominent 1960s satirical magazine (the Monocle ) and working at the New York Times Magazine , Navasky, with his combination of bedrock principle and a light touch, was a perfect fit at the Nation . Unmistakably confined to professional doings (family members are hardly mentioned), this memoir recounts myriad tempests in teapots (and some not so trifling), lawsuits, donnybrooks, controversies and lines drawn in the sand. If the New Republic is where liberals address Washington, the Nation is where liberals talk among themselves. Navasky discusses many of his lively charges and colleagues (Trillin, Ephron, Hitchens, Sontag), and relates his thinking behind some of his most important decisions as an editor. Too fragmented to substitute for a history of the left over the past few decades, Navasky's story is finally about the nuts and bolts of editing an intellectual journal, interesting enough in its own right. Agent, Amanda Urban. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/04/2005
Release date: 05/01/2005
Hardcover - 458 pages - 978-1-59558-053-5
Paperback - 458 pages - 978-0-312-42554-8
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