Click for the full 40th anniversary issue.

It is Boston Review’s fortieth birthday and we are celebrating. So in addition to our forum on democracy’s future—a topic at the core of our mission—we offer a special, longer issue, with contributions from some of our favorite writers, a stellar group of poets, and excerpts from our archive that exemplify what we do best.

As we wrote a decade ago on the occasion of our thirtieth birthday: we are a magazine of ideas, animated by hope, committed to equality and reason, convinced that the imagination eludes political categories. Our ambition is neither to present the news nor to persuade you that we are right. Still less to provide another venue for the smart insight that politics is hopelessly corrupt, personal revelation all that really matters, and justice yet another move in the power game. We aim instead to establish a public space in which people can loosen the hold of conventional preconceptions, develop a common vocabulary and richer language of public discourse, and start to reason together across the lines others are so busily drawing.

While some things have changed in the last decade—we have a new website, a new print design, strong presence on social media, and lots more readers—our mission has not. We want to take this occasion to thank our long-term readers for your ongoing interest and engagement. We hope you enjoy the next ten years. To new readers, welcome. We look forward to hearing from you.