Would you be willing to share a moment in your life when an idea excited or thrilled you? If so, email me straightaway. If you’re on the fence, an explanation is in order.
Roughly 20 years ago, Cullen Murphy, then-managing editor of The Atlantic, mused that this magazine has a responsibility “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; to write with intelligence and perspective about matters such as marriage, morals, and the mind that are important but aren't necessarily ‘news’; to shun the bandwagon; and to spread the conclusions of our authors to people who need to know.”
It is now our privilege and challenge to attempt something like that mission in real time, on the web, as well as periodically, in print; and to those complementary projects, The Atlantic adds, among its many events, co-sponsorship of the Aspen Ideas Festival. A small team of staffers is dispatched there each year to see scores of intellectuals and officials share their ideas––and to convey some measure of what’s said to you, our community of readers, in hopes that you’ll engage as participants.