During its first 90 years, The Atlantic featured its table of contents, rather than a photograph or illustration, on its cover. For this, our first weekly magazine, we've revived that tradition of simplicity--not for sentimental reasons, but because our founders' straightforward approach suits this new publication's mission and its medium. We're aiming to provide readers with a selection of stories and ideas on screens scrubbed of all distractions, for those moments over the weekend when you can pause to sit back, with an iPhone or iPad, and let your mind roam.
On any given day, we now publish dozens of stories across our three Web sites, TheAtlantic.com, The Atlantic Wire, and The Atlantic Cities. No one who doesn't work for The Atlantic can keep up with it all (many of us can't, either), and we suspect that even our most constant readers miss some of our best pieces. The purpose of The Atlantic Weekly is to collect that work into a weekend guide to how the world is changing, and to where that change might take us. In each issue on the iPad, we'll also include a story drawn from our 155-year-deep magazine archive, a piece of great writing that we believe can advance readers' thinking today, as it did when we first published it. (For this inaugural issue, we present Henry Thoreau's "Walking," which ran in The Atlantic in 1862.) We will publish each Friday afternoon so that you can download a new issue before signing off, as we hope you at least sometimes can, for the weekend.
We are asking readers to pay for this magazine. The reason is that we are putting work into it--by editors, designers, and developers--and at least for now we're not including any advertising. This is, for us, another experiment in putting to use any new means available to create and support the journalism of ideas that distinguishes The Atlantic. We hope you will value it.