From the New Editor


WITH this issue of the Atlantic a new editor takes the chair. Willingness to change while respecting tradition has kept the Atlantic young and pertinent for nearly 110 years. Stepping down after twenty-eight years as the magazine’s ninth editor in chief, Edward Weeks leaves a record of achievement and expansion unequaled in the magazine’s history. To the best of what he inherited from his predecessors, he brought new ideas and new approaches to make the Atlantic, as he once put it, “the means of reconciling the old and the new ... a place where we hammer out by clear thinking those adjustments which are as healthy as they arc inevitable.”

Wisely eschewing change only for sake of change, he made many innovations and directed the magazine through three evolutions of format. He respected nothing more highly than the intelligence and selectivity of the Atlantic’s loyal audience, and by doing so, swelled that audience threefold during his editorship. Under him the institution of the Atlantic “First” story and The Young Poets pages brought scores of now-established writers into print for the first time. He built a talented, devoted staff. He had in the magazine s owners, and in Donald B. Snyder as publisher, partners who cared more about quality than cash; and he had the wisdom to make Charles W. Morton his associate editor and to let him run free, as he will continue to do, with his wit, charm, and good taste.

As the Peripatetic Reviewer, Edward Weeks will continue to contribute to these pages each month; and as senior editor and consultant to the Atlantic Monthly Press, he will continue to edit books of others and to write his own.

The Atlantic’s new editor in chief sees the high standards and ambitions of the past as the Atlantic’s challenge for the years to come. As a young immigrant once remarked alter a lew months in the United States, “Just to stay where you are in this country, you have to keep moving.”

Move the Atlantic will, but not at the expense of its commitment to literary quality and serious purpose in the discussion of the arts, science, and public affairs. It will survey the world with an optimist’s eye and a skeptic’s squint, trying to abjure trifles, to look beyond the awkward incidents ol the hour, and to illuminate the long sweep of events — and find excitement in so doing.