At Boston Review we have been committed since 1975 to independent, nonprofit publishing. Our editorial mission is founded on strong convictions about equality and democracy. After November 8, now more than ever, we plan to fight for our conviction that democracy works best when informed citizens have serious debates about the issues that matter most.

Last summer we announced plans for an ambitious new publishing strategy. The strategy required three large changes:

A new website, which serves as a public forum. We launched the new site in October, and it has been powerfully energized by the disastrous election.

A new print format featuring four themed issues a year—each a hybrid of book and magazine. In this, our first of 2017, our contributors explore the idea that the enslavement of Africans was crucial to the foundations of modern capitalism, and that our capacity to build a more just society hinges on how we address this deep history of the global political economy.

A new membership model, designed to keep our online content free. Like NPR and PBS, Boston Review is a nonprofit that provides a public good. Generous support from people who share our goals enables us to ensure that our content remains available for free to everyone. Which is how it should be. Everyone should have easy access to robust debate of important issues. Democracy depends on it.

So the same democratic purpose, and a new strategy for pursuing the purpose. We hope you love this issue. Read it, share it, argue about it.