If there is a better magazine than “Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture,” I don’t know about it. It is a monthly magazine published in the heartland, at Rockford, Illinois.
Its political orientation is usually called paleoconservative. Paleoconservatives are not eager to attack other countries. This distinguishes them from neoconservatives (in reality, a type of liberal) and from more mainstream conservatives (alas, far too often as warmongering as the neoconservatives). So, if you are beginning to smell a rat in regard to all these foreign interventions–or if you smelled a rat ages ago and didn’t realize there were other people like you in the world–“Chronicles” will introduce you to people who don’t automatically assume that the U.S. has a right or sacred duty to run all the other countries on the planet. A quaint, novel notion, obviously, but it takes all kinds to make up the world.
The regular writers represent a mixture of religious points of view. The editor, Chilton Williamson, Jr., is Roman Catholic, and the strongest religious strain is decided RC. One might think this would be terribly off-putting for Protestants, but I, at least (Protestant to the core), am able to scrape off what I don’t like. Protestantism is well-represented by the thoughtful and uncompromising Aaron D. Wolf, and the Orthodox faith is represented as well. The magazine might appeal to non-religious libertarians. Justin Raimondo, a foe of idiotic wars, is a libertarian–although I think he has further defined himself as paleolibertarian.
There are monthly columns by a regular group of writers. Chilton Williamson, Jr., is especially good at evaluating or dissecting the liberal worldview.
Roger D. McGrath introduces little-known or forgotten areas of history. His column alone would be worth the price of admission, for any historians or potential historians, or for people who just want to appreciate how various the world is. He will open up countless avenues of possible exploration for you. History is not the white-people-did-everything-bad-especially-Southerners-let’s-destroy-civilization-to-get-revenge story we are currently hearing. History is rich and deep, with countless things we know little or nothing about. Mr. McGrath’s column reminds us of that.
James O. Tate will be a treat to anyone with a love of classical music. His breadth of knowledge is remarkable.
George McCartney reviews movies. He does so from what seems to me to be a very insightful point of view. It is refreshing to read reviews of movies written by someone other than politically correct liberals. Mr. McCartney has a fair-minded willingness to see the good side even of movies that are very flawed.
Srjda Trifkovic’s specialty is foreign policy. The U.S. would be a lot better off if he were our Secretary of State, rather than the mindless interventionists we always have these days.
There are lots of other recurring writers (appearing on an occasional basis, some more frequently), plenty of book reviews, editorials, feedback to previous articles, and even a bit of poetry each month. The people at “Chronicles” are extremely well-read.
“Chronicles” is not a perfect magazine. Occasionally one gets a whiff of protectionism, which is a breaking of the Eighth Commandment that we not steal (Exodus 20:15), because protectionism prevents ordinary people from buying items at the world market price. Not everyone at “Chronicles” is a protectionist, fortunately. You will find other faults. But we are all learning, right? The people at “Chronicles” are trying to do their part to help preserve civilization. They are doing yeoman work.
The influence of “Chronicles” is not as great as I could wish. A couple years ago their subscription list ran to just slightly under 7,000. This reminds me of the 7,000 in Israel who had not bowed their knee to Baal (1 Kings 19:18). But that was in a small country with relatively few people. The U.S., a country of 320,000,000, ought to be able to come up with many more than 7,000 people who would appreciate and learn from “Chronicles.” I think there are a lot more people than 7,000 in the U.S. who would enjoy this magazine, if they knew about it.
But maybe not. Maybe “Whatever” should be the motto inscribed on our national shield.
A year’s subscription is $44.99 for “Chronicles.” The most recent issue had 50 pages, with no advertisements interspersed. Almost $45.00 is quite a bit of money to pay for something you are not sure about. So, if you tell me you would like to try a copy of “Chronicles” before you invest your children’s grocery money in buying a subscription, let me know and I will do my best to see that you get one copy of “Chronicles” to read at your leisure.
“Chronicles” also has a good Internet presence, with four blog posts, constantly changing, always available. But the Internet presence is a pale imitation of the print magazine.
“Chronicles,” thank you for being there.