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The North American Review (NAR) was the first literary magazine in the United Statesmarker. Founded in Bostonmarker in 1815 by journalist Nathan Hale and others, it was published continuously until 1940, when publication was suspended due to J. H. Smyth, who had purchased the magazine, being unmasked as a Japanese spy. Publication subsequently resumed in 1964 at Cornell Collegemarker (Iowa). Since 1968 the University of Northern Iowamarker (Cedar Falls) has been home to the publication. Nineteenth-century archives are freely available via Cornell Universitymarker's Making of America.

Until the founding of the Atlantic Monthly in 1857, the NAR was the foremost publication in New Englandmarker and probably the entire United States. For all its lasting impact on American literature and institutions, however, the Review had no more than 3000 subscribers in its heyday.

The NAR's first editor, William Tudor , and other founders had been members of Boston's Anthology Club, and launched The North American Review to foster a genuine American culture. In its first few years the NAR published poetry, fiction, and miscellaneous essays on a bi-monthly schedule, but in 1818 it became a quarterly with more focused contents intent on improving society and on elevating culture. The NAR promoted the improvement of public education and administration, with reforms in secondary schools, sound professional training of doctors and lawyers, rehabilitation of prisoners at the state penitentiary, and government by educated experts.

The NAR's editors and contributors included several literary and political New Englanders as John Adams, George Bancroft, Nathaniel Bowditch, William Cullen Bryant, Lewis Cass, Edward T. Channing, Caleb Cushing, Richard Henry Dana, Sr., Alexander Hill Everett, Edward Everett, Jared Sparks, George Ticknor, Gulian C. Verplanck, and Daniel Webster.

Between 1862 and 1872, its co-editors were James Russell Lowell and Charles Eliot Norton. Henry Adams also later served as an editor. Although the Review did not often publish fiction, it did serialize The Ambassadors by Henry James.

When the NAR moved to the University of Northern Iowa in 1968, its editor was Robley Wilson. The current editors are Grant Tracey and Vince Gotera, since 2000.

More recent contributors of note include Barry Lopez, Maxine Chernoff, Jim Krusoe, Joshua Henkin, Jacob M. Appel, Ron Carlson and William Tester.

References

  1. Sullivan, Wilson. New England Men of Letters. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1972: 218. ISBN 0027886808


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