Some people never leave college behind; the philosophies you develop as an undergrad can stay with you a lifetime. For Peter Thiel, that means checking on periodically on his 30-year-old love child, The Stanford Review, to make sure the magazine he founded still has an independent streak of disrupting the status quo of campus ideologies.
Inside the Identity Crisis at the Independent Journal Review, the Outlet That Has Become a Powerhouse in the Trump Era
Founded in 2013 to repackage conservative news stories, IJR grew into a news-gathering organization, but they’ve stumbled as they’ve evolved, from a retracted conspiracy theory to clashes between the content and editorial sides. The biggest criticism is that the company’s partisan position makes their stories part of the Trump propaganda machine.
I believe in the writer—the writer, above all. That’s how we started off: admiring the writer. We organized the New York Review according to the writers we admired most: Edmund Wilson, Wystan Auden, Fred Dupee, Norman, Bill, Lizzie, Mary among them. Each of them had a confident sense of their own prose, and it meant a great deal to them—the matter of a comma, a semicolon, a word—and it does to our writers today. And so, when it comes to making a change, we should not do it without their permission. If a moment comes at some point where we see something should be improved, we don’t just scribble it in but call them up wherever they are. And that is, I think, crucial.
—Robert Silvers, co-founding editor of The New York Review of Books with Barbara Epstein, speaking with New York magazine’s Mark Danner in 2013, on the publication’s 50th anniversary. Silvers died March 20 after an illness. He was 87 years old.
NYRB announced the news on their Twitter feed today:
Shortly after I started Longreads, I was invited to visit the offices of the NYRB to meet their digital editor Matthew Howard. A man was walking toward the front of the office so I stopped him and asked if he knew where Matthew might be. He politely responded that he did know, then turned and walked back through the office to track him down. Matthew met me with a handshake, laughed, and then asked me, “You realize you just sent Robert Silvers to fetch me, right?”
From a grateful reader, thank you, Robert.
See more stories from The New York Review of Books in the Longreads archive.