Saturday , February 24 2024
The Editors of The Nation have compiled this guide to the 21st-century American Left.

Book Review: The Nation Guide to the Nation

The past eight years seemed an eternity. And now with Barack Obama about to become President of the United States, liberal is no longer a label to be uttered in hushed tones. It’s OK to be a card-carrying liberal again!

As it has been since it first began publication in 1865, The Nation is the about as close as you can get to being the left’s “house organ.” Unabashedly liberal, the “political and cultural weekly” has had a significant place during the Bush administration speaking truth to the disaster that was the Bush administration. The Nation Guide to the Nation is part Yellow Pages, part Whole Earth Catalog (for the 21st century). And for people wanting to find their progressive political, spiritual and social homes, this book is an invaluable resource.

The Guide includes not only gathering places like bookstores, and restaurants, grocers and bars, but also highlights the progressive cultural touchstones, icons and oases. It is a comprehensive “lifestyle guide” for the Left in America.

The book is divided into several sections listing cultural, social and environmental resources, organizations, media, and goods and services providers.  Everything from art collectives to politically oriented cruises; organic restaurants to political saloons; progressive satellite and cable networks to recommended left-leaning bloggers are highlighted with contact information, including web addresses.

Compiled by former longtime The Nation executive editor Richard Lingeman, editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel and former editor and publisher emeritus Victor Navasky, the book takes the reader on a tour of liberal America, and is a one-stop shop for places to go and things to see as well as a treasure trove of left-leaning trivia.

Where else would one find the ideal progressive diner in Iowa City, Iowa? Ray Bradbury’s favorite bookstore? A compilation of every progressive organization, media outlet and place along the “liberal heritage trail?” Not really a book to be read cover to cover, but a hands-on resource for those who need it, on the road or on the ‘net.

About Barbara Barnett

A Jewish mother and (young 🙃) grandmother, Barbara Barnett is an author and professional Hazzan (Cantor). A member of the Conservative Movement's Cantors Assembly and the Jewish Renewal movement's clergy association OHALAH, the clergy association of the Jewish Renewal movement. In her other life, she is a critically acclaimed fantasy/science fiction author as well as the author of a non-fiction exploration of the TV series House, M.D. and contributor to the book Spiritual Pregnancy. She Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (

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