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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 3rd March 2017 > WELL LIT


The Paris Review, America’s foremost literary magazine, gears up in the age of Trump


LIKE MOST people, I have a large and meaningless collection of coffee mugs, their provenance for the most part unknown. Yet one stands out, emblazoned with the logo of The Paris Review, the literary magazine founded by George Plimpton in 1953, and an approving quote from Newsweek: “The first really promising development in youthful, advance guard, or experimental writing in a long time.”

I’d spotted the mug at a Paris Review party in Manhattan a couple of years ago, in the kitchenette of the West Chelsea loft where the magazine moved after vacating the East 72nd Street townhouse where Plimpton ran the publication until his 2003 death. The day after the party, I sent Lorin Stein, the editor of the Review since 2010, a note; he, in turn, kindly sent me the surprising, not to mention useful, memento of our respective publications’ long-ago bond.

Sometime after that, I went hunting for the 1953 Newsweek issue that covered the birth of The Paris Review in the intellectual hothouse that was postwar New York City. Newsweek was harder to navigate back then than it is today, and I ended up spending several hours learning about a year that surely deserves a book of its own, as much as 1968 or 1914: the discovery of DNA, the death of Soviet despot Josef Stalin, the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya, the polio vaccine pioneered by Jonas Salk, the ascension of Elizabeth II to the British throne, the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg—all of it studded with adverts for cigarettes and long-defunct airlines.

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RESCUE MISSION Isis is not just trying to wipe people off the face of The Earth by killing them. they are also destroying their history. Isis and other groups are erasing centuries of Jewish history in the Middle East. but a small team of mostly volunteers are trying to stop them, even if it means risking their own lives.