The left needs more people like Victor Navasky. The appearance by Navasky, the former publisher and editor of The Nation, at Town Hall on Thursday, June 22, is a great opportunity to get his wisdom in person. Navasky kept The Nation, the country’s oldest magazine, in the red for 27 years, charming a succession of wealthy owners to keep subsidizing the publication while never allowing the monied backers to control its editorial direction.
His lively and warm memoir, A Matter of Opinion, just out in paperback, recounts the long lunches and many Stoli martinis that Navasky endured for the cause. At the same time, in the pages of The Nation, Navasky was letting a broad spectrum of writers from liberals to anarchists inform, propagandize, and debate the direction of the left. My personal favorite was the letters section where The Nation’s columnists would carry on vituperative debates with one another: It was an Algonquin Round Table for radicals. The Nation continues under the direction of Katrina vanden Heuvel but isn’t quite as much fun as it used to be. Come out and hear Navasky’s accumulated wisdom at Seattle Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave. Tickets: 206-325-2993, www.foolproof.org. $10/$5 members, students, seniors. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., June 22.