Back in the day (“the day” being roughly 2009) The Atlantic’s website was home to a particularly rambunctious set of bloggers. (For those of you unfamiliar with the term bloggers, please ask your AP English teacher for guidance.) The Atlantic has been, since 1857, the home to much of the country’s best writing talent, and our blogroll was no exception. (I was a member of this disputatious collective, but I was, at best, its sixth-most-talented contributor. I was, however, the third- or fourth-most-rambunctious).
Blogging has since faded as a phenomenon (marginalized by Twitter, among other things), and—perhaps—good riddance. The Dodge City qualities of spontaneous blogging could be a bit much. But this spontaneity was also a virtue, as was the creativity of my former colleagues, and their just-trying-to-figure-things-out-in-public fearlessness.
As astute observers of the Discourse know, newsletters have arisen to fulfill at least some of blogging’s salutary functions. Newsletters are conversational, unrehearsed, contingent, revelatory, humble, and entertaining, and journalism can always use more of these qualities. The Atlantic, which is already home to writers with clashing worldviews and original ways of seeing what is (as a great writer who didn’t have a newsletter once said) too often right in front of our noses, is always keen to showcase for our readers new writers, and new kinds of writing. Growing our family of newsletters dramatically seemed like one good way to better serve our readers. And so I’m very pleased to introduce to you nine new newsletters from The Atlantic, all from people we think are among the most interesting writers in America. These newsletters are a benefit of a subscription, but anyone can sign up for free during a trial period, which runs through November 30.
We’re exceptionally happy that these nine writers have agreed to participate in this great experiment. This isn’t the beginning of our newsletter initiative; our current newsletters, including The Daily and Planet, already reach hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Nor is this the end of our newsletter experiment: Stay tuned for more announcements in the coming weeks and months.
Here are our new newsletter offerings:
In Humans Being, Jordan searches for meaning in comic books, film, books, TV shows, and more. Jordan is the editor in chief of Lifehacker, a website that aims to help you “do everything better.” He takes this mission seriously—like the time he decided to see if he could learn how to skateboard as an “old and broken” adult. He’s also the host of the podcast The Upgrade, and the author of Piccolo Is Black, a forthcoming memoir about pop culture and identity.
In I Have Notes, Nicole shares conversations and essays, explores the craft of writing, and writes about books she’s reading. She’ll also interact with readers in an advice column focused on friendships, family relationships, and building a creative life. Nicole’s writing has appeared in many publications, including The New York Times and GQ. Previously, she wrote an advice column for Slate and led the digital editorial team at Catapult. She was also the managing editor of The Toast. Her first book, All You Can Ever Know, was a national best seller and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
In The Third Rail, David focuses on the Constitution, American culture, and the disputes that divide our nation. He will take a hard look at the most complicated issues and seek to examine the contours of American debate. David is a writer, a veteran, and a self-described “recovering litigator” who has worked in commercial litigation, constitutional law, and the law of armed conflict. As a member of the Army Reserve, he deployed to Iraq in 2007. His latest book, Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation, focuses on the consequences of our nation’s divisions.
In Brooklyn, Everywhere, a Kings County native ponders the many meanings of gentrification and what we stand to lose in our relentless pursuit of the American dream. Xochitl is a novelist, screenwriter, and television executive producer. She came to her writing career in her 40s; before that she worked as an event planner, fundraiser, and tarot-card reader, among other pursuits. Her debut novel, Olga Dies Dreaming, arrives in January, and is being developed by Hulu and 20th TV.
In Wait, What? Molly Jong-Fast will tell you what you should pay attention to in politics today. You won’t have to puzzle over her bias: She leans left and can’t help but tell you what she thinks. Expect the political, scrutiny of the far-right media-industrial complex, and the personal. Molly comes to The Atlantic from the Daily Beast, where she is still the host of the New Abnormal podcast. She also writes for Vogue, and she writes books—including a forthcoming memoir about coming of age in the 1990s called The Last Good Time.
In Peacefield, an international-affairs expert, former political staffer, and native son of Massachusetts writes about America’s place in the world, with a special focus on challenges to the survival of liberal democracy in the United States. He has strongly held views on etiquette and classic rock, and he is a five-time undefeated Jeopardy champion. Tom is already a regular presence in The Atlantic, and has written several memorable articles in recent years, such as “Donald Trump, the Most Unmanly President” and “I Want My Mutually Assured Destruction.” He is also an expert on Russia and a former international-security professor at the U.S. Naval War College. He is the author of several books. His latest is Our Own Worst Enemy: The Assault From Within on Modern Democracy.
In Unsettled Territory, a Princeton University professor takes readers on a journey through culture, law, history, literature, and politics, doing what she calls American rootwork: deep diving in order to find meaning in both the extraordinary and the mundane. In addition to being the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton, Imani is the author of seven books, including the forthcoming South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation. She has a Ph.D. in American studies and a law degree from Harvard. She is also a faculty associate with Princeton’s programs in law and public affairs, gender and sexuality studies, and jazz studies.
An exploration of misunderstood people and overlooked ideas, Deep Shtetl will take readers off the beaten path to explain the complexity of the current moment. Yair, who previously wrote for Tablet, has chronicled everything from national politics to global anti-Semitism to the translation of Harry Potter into Yiddish, and will seek to understand the culture through a Jewish lens. A self-described “connoisseur of conspiracy theories,” he also composes original Jewish music and once made a Twitter bot programmed to troll anti-Semites.
We live in interesting times and Galaxy Brain wants to help you navigate them. Charlie has spent years thinking about the biggest and most complicated overlapping questions in tech, media, and internet culture. Galaxy Brain is an attempt to navigate—and even appreciate—an era of chaos and tremendous change. Previously, he worked as an Opinion writer for The New York Times, and as a reporter at BuzzFeed News. His latest book, Out of Office, co-written with Anne Helen Petersen, examines and reimagines what America’s relationship with work should be.