Says Cullen Murphy, "At The Atlantic we try to
provide a considered look at all aspects of our national life; to write, as
well, about matters that are not strictly American; to emphasize the big story
that lurks, untold, behind the smaller ones that do get told; and to share the
conclusions of our writers with people who count."
Murphy served as The Atlantic Monthly's managing editor from 1985 until 2005, when the magazine relocated to Washington. He
has written frequently for the magazine on a great variety of subjects, from
religion to language to social science to such out-of-the-way matters as
ventriloquism and his mother's method for pre-packaging lunches for her seven
Murphy's book Rubbish! (1992), which he co-authored with William Rathje, grew out of an article that was written by Rathje, edited by Murphy, and published in the December, 1989, issue of The Atlantic Monthly. In a feature about the book's success The New York Times reported that the article "was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 1990 and became a runaway hit for The Atlantic Monthly, which eventually ran off 150,000 copies of it." Murphy's second book, Just Curious, a collection of his essays that first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and Harper's, was published in 1995. His most recent book, The Word According to Eve: Women and The Bible in Ancient Times and Our Own, was published in 1998 by Houghton Mifflin. The book grew out of Murphy's August 1993 Atlantic cover story, "Women and the Bible."
Murphy was born in New Rochelle, New York, and grew up in Greenwich,
Connecticut. He was educated at Catholic schools in Greenwich and in Dublin,
Ireland, and at Amherst College, from which he graduated with honors in
medieval history in 1974. Murphy's first magazine job was in the paste-up
department of Change, a magazine devoted to higher education. He became
an editor of The Wilson Quarterly in 1977. Since the mid-1970s Murphy
has written the comic strip Prince Valiant, which appears in some 350
newspapers around the world.