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PRINT March 2002

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Jonathan Weinberg on The Nation

The Nation was launched in 1865 with seven objectives. The first six concerned the political and economic state of a country emerging from the devastation of civil war. Almost as an afterthought came the seventh: “sound and impartial criticism of books and works of art.” The connection between the goals of good government and encouraging the arts must have seemed self-evident—there was no justification given for the decision to include cultural reviews. And so from its very first issue, and regularly thereafter, The Nation has published reviews of art by house critics Clement Greenberg, Henry James, Max Kozloff, Fairfield Porter, and Paul Rosenfeld, to name the best known, and pieces by distinguished guests including Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Katherine Anne Porter, Alfred Stieglitz, and Frank Lloyd Wright. A generous selection of this criticism has been gathered and annotated in

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