Tilting at Windmills

When Charlie Peters founded the Washington Monthly almost 46 years ago, he billed it as “a bold experiment in political journalism.” He was determined to produce articles that not only illuminate important issues but challenge and inspire people to reexamine their assumptions. He did not know that it would become such an influential magazine, changing policy debates on more than one occasion, nor did he realize that the Tilting at Windmills column he wrote for each issue would one day be regarded as a forerunner of today’s blogging. We are still here, more than four decades later, more than ten years since we added the highly regarded Political Animal blog to our quiver, having survived a massive upheaval in the world of journalism and small magazine publishing, still telling the insightful stories that can only be told by a truly independent media entity. Pulitzer prize-winning author and investigative journalist Kate Boo, who launched her career at the Washington Monthly, sums up what we are all about:

“One morning, unemployed and living in my parents’ basement, I heard Washington Monthly founding editor Charlie Peters talking on NPR about social class, the decline of civic space, and lavish skyboxes in baseball stadiums. It was all so deeply unfashionable and true that I felt I had to write for this guy. A few months later, he published the first piece I’d ever reported. Of all the things I admire about the Washington Monthly — editorial integrity, the understanding that idealism doesn’t have to be humorless, the ability to distinguish between what seems important and what really IS important — the resolute unfashionability is right up there.”

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