A Matter of Opinion

Victor S. Navasky


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Winner of the 2005 George Polk Book Award
Victor S. Navasky is the renowned editor, writer, and educator who was at the helm of The Nation for almost thirty years. A Matter of Opinion, a scintillating reflection on his experiences, is an extraordinary political document--and a passionately written, irresistibly charming account of a great journalistic tradition.

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Praise for A Matter of Opinion

"A Matter of Opinion is the autobiography of a great magazine, by the person who has best embodied it over the years. 'Wily' and 'parsimonious' are the adjectives most commonly applied to Navasky; now we can add 'charming,' 'witty,' and 'consistently entertaining.'"--Barbara Ehrenreich
"Anybody who has ever dreamed of starting a magazine, or worried that the country is losing the ability to speak seriously to itself, should read A Matter of Opinion."--The New York Times Book Review
"Victor S. Navasky is that most valuable of journalists: the subversive patriot who loves his country too much to see it become a plaything for plutocrats, scalawags, and scoundrels; who loves justice too much to see it betrayed by false prophets; and who loves his craft too much to see it as anything but a calling. I cherish this account of his adventures for reminding us why the journalism of opinion is the heart and soul of democracy--as long as the last opinion is never assumed to be the right one."--Bill Moyers
"Someone had to keep the left flag flying, [and] A Matter of Opinion exhibits malice toward none."--from Christopher Hitchens's Vanity Fair"Hall of Fame" nomination
"A perambulating hybrid of a book, part memoir and part case study of how to keep a small, fractious political magazine afloat in an age of big media."--The Boston Globe
"Navasky's book is a reminder of a time when magazines served as forums for 'moral and political argument, rational deliberation, critical analysis of the problem.' Those are qualities that are missing in American political life right now, and not just on the left."--Time
"Let there be no doubt: Victor S. Navasky is a force for our time. So is this book--going from The Nation to a compelling comment on the current scene. It is a book for true enjoyment and enlightenment."--John Kenneth Galbraith
"This has got to be the kinkiest love story of our time--a man in love with a magazine and the two of them in love with a nation. What a ménage! Untamed passion, big money, adult language, breakups, rapprochements, and a wonderful assortment of eccentric supporting characters--it's all here in Navasky's brave confession. But let the reader be warned: this bizarre love story, though such wicked fun to read, puts our deepest moral values on display."--E. L. Doctorow
"The front-room tour of [Navasky's] charmed rise . . . [tirelessly advances] the idea that the world as we know it won't be saved without [journals of opinion]."--The New Yorker
"[A] graceful mix of memoir and meditation on journals of opinion and the stubborn enthusiasts who end up running them. . . . Full of strong philosophical medicine and nutritious anecdotes."--John Leonard, Harper's Magazine
"Victor S. Navasky brings a rare blend of idealism and clear-minded realism to his engrossing book, and his literary style is masterful. I love and admire his examination of and prescriptions for the most vital issues of our age."--George McGovern
"The political landscape may be at its most bleak, yet there appears in all its rubble a piece of greenery--a hip, muckraking journal, The Nation, singularly triumphant. (Its readership is greater than ever.) What makes A Matter of Opinion so delightful is the teller of the tale. Vic Navasky, The Nation's publisher, is not only a journalist in the tradition of Lincoln Steffens, George Seldes, and I. F. Stone but a natural born storyteller. His wonderful book rushes on like a house afire. And it's funny, too."--Studs Terkel
"If Victor S. Navasky had his modest way, he would have you believe this is
a book about American magazines and their vital role in the conversations of
a democracy. It is much more. This wry, anecdote-filled page-turner also
reveals why Navasky is an editor whom journalists would kill to work for if he
weren't so cheap. He's curious. He listens. He laughs. He makes mistakes and
sometimes admits them. He is as generous as he is smart. A Matter of Opinion is
a vivid account of our times and, in its modest way, reveals his own important role in them."--Ken Auletta

Reviews from Goodreads


About the Author

Victor S. Navasky

Victor S. Navasky came to The Nation as editor in 1978, was made publisher and general partner in 1995, and is now publisher emeritus. The Delacorte Professor of Journalism at Columbia University and Director of the George Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism, he chairs the Columbia Journalism Review. He was the founder, editor, and publisher of Monocle, an editor for the New York Times Magazine, and a columnist for the New York Times Book Review. The author of Naming Names, which won the National Book Award in 1982, and Kennedy Justice, he lives in New York City.

Victor S. Navasky


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Available Formats and Book Details

A Matter of Opinion
Victor S. Navasky

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
May 2006
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312425548
ISBN10: 0312425546
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 480 pages

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