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Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Looking Back on Three Years of Magazines

State of the Union: This print issue marks an editorial anniversary.
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From Andrews

Our September/October 2023 print issue went online this week. If you’re a subscriber, the whole issue was available to you bright and early Monday morning.

This issue is a special one for me because it marks three full years that I’ve been at the helm of the print magazine here at TAC. When I took over from Johnny Burtka in 2020, I had no idea what I was doing. I had been hired at TAC as a writer, and now, all of a sudden I was an editor, a very different skill set.

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Those early issues were rough going. Some brilliant pieces are there: Oliver Bateman on the Rogue Fitness equipment monopoly, Gabriel Gavin on e-commerce in Russia, Pedro Gonzalez on Prop 187, Edward Luttwak on the Shining Path. But as an editor I was definitely still in the learning stage.

Every issue was a chance to learn something, usually from my mistakes. Eventually, we made enough mistakes that we started to improve.

There are some wild stories I could tell you about the last three years. One author, I won’t say who, kept flaking on his deadlines, so I finally sat him down in my kitchen and typed out the piece while he dictated. It was worth it. The piece was one of the most successful articles TAC has ever published.

This job has allowed me to commission work from some of the writers I admire most: Christopher Caldwell, Gary Saul Morson, James Pogue, Matthew Schmitz, Michael Warren Davis. Sometimes, I think I have the best job in the world. I get to put smart people together with interesting stories.

The difference between my first three issues and my latest three is like night and day. I feel like we’re finally starting to get the hang of this. I’m grateful to everyone at TAC who has been a part of it (especially managing editors Declan Leary and Jude Russo), to the writers, and, most of all, to the readers.

Looking at how far we’ve come in three years, I can’t wait to check in again in three more.

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