The Wilson Quarterly might be called a Readers' Digest for intellectuals. In brisk, crisply-written articles, the Quarterly surveys ideas--both current and historical--and makes often-daunting material accessible and eminently readable. The format is austere and refreshing--mostly text, with no advertising and no glossy photos. Reading the magazine is an intellectually bracing experience, like mental aftershave. In the Autumn, 1999 issue, for example, topics covered included "Call Me Mister," which discussed the social trend of addressing everyone by their first name and its costs, and an extremely provocative view of American parenting and its negative impact on education. Both articles had me thinking intensely for weeks afterward. I found myself asking everyone I knew for their own opinions on both topics, and discussing with them what I'd read. Much more stimulating than the usual fluffy commercially-influenced product available in most other magazines. For anyone who feels mentally bogged-down or out-of-touch, the Wilson Quarterly is truly a blast of fresh air.
Accepts Freelance Submissions: Not sure
Integrity of Ideas
WQ is among the very few publications in America that takes ideas seriously -- across all traditional academic boundaries -- without being polemical or skewed in its approach. The essays are balanced, nuanced and well considered, and the pointers to current items and trends are succinct and informative.
When I meet people who read WQ and get the chance to become acquainted, I discover that, whatever their current position (General of the US Marines, Chairman of the Board of a knowledgeware enterprise, think-tank analyst, professor, fellowship student), they invariably have a pattern of academic excellence and intellectual curiosity.
My last coincidental encounter involved a brilliant staff Captain in the US Air Force. She was somewhat furtive about reading WQ out in the open air and in uniform, but she confessed to me to have been a Rhodes scholar looking forward to an eventual Ph.D. We discussed our mutual interest in currents in American philosophy -- focusing through one of the essays in her issue of the quarterly.
It may be argued that no magazine could keep up with the ferment of we encounter in what I have described as the invisible American Empire of Ideas.
WQ does not pretend to map every idea. What it does, it does quietly. It does not compromise on its intellectual honesty to achieve a mass audience. It appeals to those who find it a delight to think.
So it excels in every way, but not in the same way in each issue. WQ is an intellectual treat, every issue.