For three and a half decades, The Rockford Institute’s flagship monthly, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, edited by classicist Thomas Fleming, has defended Western Christian civilization. A magazine without peer, Chronicles aims to influence the influential. Nearly a third of its readers hold advanced degrees and include novelists, filmmakers, university professors, teachers, homeschooling mothers, captains of industry, government researchers, journalists, bishops, priests, and politicians. Former presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan called Chronicles “the toughest, best-written, and most insightful journal in America.” One venture capitalist described Chronicles as more useful in predicting social and cultural trends than all investment newsletters combined, and a best-selling thriller writer calls Chronicles “the magazine I read first.” In March 2000, the Chicago Tribune declared, “There are few magazines as cerebral as Chronicles.”
While most opinion magazines grow stale once the candidates or policies they have backed fade away, Chronicles speaks to our time and to future generations. By examining current events from the perspectives of history, theology, literature, and philosophy, Chronicles provides a timeless magazine, the arguments in which are made with clarity, grace, and wit. In several areas of critical importance to the United States and to Western civilization, Chronicles claims unrivaled prescience:
More than two years before the attacks of September 11, Chronicles published a warning. “Islam and the West,” laid bare the history, growth, and geopolitical aims of Islam. Since then, Chronicles has covered this conflict, exposing the alarming number and motives of Islamic schools in America’s heartland, the naiveté with which Americans accept Islamic proselytizing, and the grave security risk posed by our porous borders.
Immigration and Citizenship
Americans are reconsidering their enthusiasm for unfettered immigration, particularly in light of recent threats to national security. As one Chronicles editor quipped, “If an unwed Mexican mother can make it across our Texas border, what is to stop an Islamic terrorist?” Yet few politicians criticize America’s liberal immigration laws. Two decades ago, Professor Clyde Wilson of the University of South Carolina wrote in Chronicles, “Our present manner of universalizing citizenship, though regarded by nearly everyone as eternal and sacrosanct, is nothing of the kind. Citizenship, until very recently, has always been understood in historic and inherited terms.” Since then, Chronicles has brought reason and sanity to the immigration debate, exploring the issue where it matters most: the effect of immigration on the character of a nation. Far from calling for a ban on immigration, Chronicles has argued that a nation should be guided by its own interests when conferring citizenship. Of immigration concerns, Forbes editor Peter Brimelow said, “Chronicles editors can fairly say: you read it here first.”
A Foreign Policy in the American Interest
Chronicles holds that a truly conservative foreign policy is rooted in the belief that the people of the United States are citizens of a republic, not subjects of an empire. Further, such a policy would reflect the convictions of George Washington, who rejected “permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others,” declaring that “in place of them just and amicable feelings toward all should be cultivated.” As it examines the foreign-policy landscape, from the “War on Terror,” to the war in Iraq, to the conflict in Israel-Palestine, to relations with the European Union, Chronicles begins by asking, “What is the American interest?” While the dominant foreign-policy model in Washington is imperial (on the right and the left), Chronicles remains true to its Midwestern roots and the vision of the American Founders.
Regional and Local Autonomy
The New World Order, the European Union, multinational trade agreements, and the United Nations may dominate headlines, but Chronicles has made local sovereignty and political, cultural, and economic autonomy its central themes. While the mainstream American press ignores political devolution, Chronicles spotlights independence movements around the globe, and Chronicles’ “Correspondence” section celebrates the distinct cultures and customs of the various regions of our Republic.
Lessons From the Balkans
Before deploying troops to the Balkans in November 1995, President Bill Clinton stated, “Our Joint Chiefs of Staff have concluded that this mission should—and will—take about one year.” With no end in sight, it is still doubtful that most Americans could locate Bosnia on a map. Since a decade before Mr. Clinton’s assertion, however, Chronicles has explored the tragedy in the Balkans in depth, giving it the honest coverage it warrants. Chronicles has revealed Muslim atrocities and Islamic links to organized crime, explained the influence of militant Islam in the region, and courageously questioned a foreign policy that has Christian American servicemen defending Islam’s foray into Europe. Moreover, Chronicles has applied the lessons of the breakup of Yugoslavia to the political and cultural problems facing America today.
The Sanctity of Life, Marriage, and Family
Today, the Jacobin state has replaced the traditional Christian sacraments with celebrations of divorce, murder of the unborn, and suicide. In misunderstanding or altogether denying man’s relationship with God, the modern world has embraced the horrors of cloning, contraception, and eugenics. Chronicles stands as a sign of contradiction to these trends, defending the permanence of marriage, the autonomy of the family, and the sanctity of human life.
Chronicles regularly takes on the academy, breaking such stories as the acceptance of plagiarism at American universities and dishonest attacks on Thomas Jefferson. While many call for federally enforced national educational standards, Chronicles sees homeschooling and small, independent schools and colleges as the answer to America’s central question: Will the people of the United States remain part of Western, Christian civilization? For three decades, Chronicles has defended the classical curriculum that produced the Founders of the American Republic and formed the minds and souls of the American people.
In recent years, Chronicles has increased the scope and breadth of its analysis, insight, and reporting with the following columns:
The Rockford Files
Executive Editor Scott P. Richert provides a monthly look at the political, cultural, and economic battles in the middle-American town of Rockford, Illinois and applies their lessons for the rest of the country.
Sins of Omission
American historian Roger McGrath exposes revisionist historians who misrepresent American history for political ends. He tells the truths of American History: the tragedies and triumphs that the politically correct commissars of American culture and the academy would prefer kept quiet.
The American Interest
Foreign-Affairs Editor Dr. Srdja Trifkovic analyzes the world of international politics armed always with the same, and altogether too-often unasked, question: “What is the American Interest?”
What’s Wrong With the World
Penned by Senior Editor for Books Chilton Williamson, Jr., this column noting the absurdities of the modern world appears every other month and alternates with “The Hundredth Meridian” Williamson’s column on the American West.
Philip Jenkins, Professor of Religion at Pennsylvania State University and author of a wide variety of books on history, sociology, and criminology, writes this myth-busting column designed to expose, as Orwell put it, the “smelly little orthodoxies” of our time.
In The Dark
It is not enough for a screenplay to sparkle or for directors to dazzle us with their skill behind the camera. A good motion picture edifies the viewer. Film Editor George McCartney warns us of those that do not and celebrates the handful that do.
Associate Editor Aaron D. Wolf, an expert in Church history and Christian thought, examines the inconsistencies and absurdities that occur when American churches embrace the spirit of odernity and celebrates Christians who cling to tradition