Return of the Baffler | Bleader

Return of the Baffler

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If you're a patient, trusting, faithful subscriber to the Baffler—or possibly an indignant subscriber wondering where the hell it's been the past three years and pondering legal action—then you should know...

The new issue is in the mail.

That's straight from the new publisher, Conor O'Neil, with whom I just spoke. As a gesture to those faithful subscribers, the issue will not be available in stores until February.

Aside from himself, O'Neil says the Baffler is being produced by old and familiar faces. Founding editor Thomas Frank lives in Washington, D.C., now and writes celebrated books like What's the Matter With Kansas? and op-eds for papers like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, but he returns as editor. Dave Mulcahey returns as managing editor. O'Neil describes himself as a friend of Frank's who'd been working for the Senate in Washington but has relocated to Chicago.

On his own Web site Frank claimed the Baffler would be back in December. Close enough. According to O'Neil, the 30,000 press run is easily the biggest in the journal's history. It's being stamped Volume 2, Number 1—which rings of a fresh start. Volume 1, Number 1 hit the world in 1988, as eight years of Ronald Reagan were winding down, and the Baffler was quickly hailed for its snarky contrarian politics and cultural criticism. Production ambled along until fire destroyed the journal's Chicago headquarters in 2001 as Volume 1, Number 14 was about to come out, and then it slowed even further. Volume 1, Number 17, the most recent issue, appeared in the spring of 2007.

The Baffler Web site consists of nothing but a place holder, but it's supposed to be up and running again before the end of the week.

Here's a helpful piece from the New York Observer on the return of the Baffler, with a word or two about O'Neil. The Observer ran it last June, reason enough for Baffler loyalists not to start cheering until 2-1 is actually in their hands.

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