The New York Review of Books began during the long news blackout of the New York publishing strike in 1963. A group of friends decided to create a new kind of magazine—one in which the most interesting and lively minds they could find would discuss current books and issues in depth, and with all the authority and knowledge they possessed. The result was what The New Yorker recently called “the best first issue of any magazine ever.” Launched with no capital except the support of book publishers’ advertisements, The New York Review won instant and astonished acclaim with issues that included articles by W. H. Auden, Hannah Arendt, Edmund Wilson, Susan Sontag, Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, Saul Bellow, Robert Lowell, Truman Capote, William Styron, and Mary McCarthy.
Since then, The New York Review has continued to pose the central issues of American life and culture. By using writers who are themselves a major force in world literature and thought, the Review has explained the latest discoveries in science, reviewed major art exhibits, and has brought a remarkable freshness, clarity, and vision to current politics and the living dramas of the past. No wonder that it has established itself as the “preeminent intellectual newspaper in English” (The New Statesman).