Polemics & Exchanges

That Culture Thing

We have been long-time subscribers and readers. Chronicles is one of many periodicals, newspapers, journals, magazines, books we read expressing thoughts that span the political idea spectrum. You state that you are a magazine of American culture. I do not know how you define that and would like your definition. I find your articles perplexing. You seem to give Donald Trump a big pass on so many issues. You have lots of complaints about America’s popular culture. I no longer know what you stand for. What do you stand for and what is your idea of American culture?

—Rhoda Schermer

Ridgewood, N.J.

 

Mr. Foley Replies:

How do we define culture, specifically American culture? It’s a great question that goes to the very founding of Chronicles in 1977.

As Leopold Tyrmand, the magazine’s first editor, wrote in its first issue:

We believe that culture is, more than ever, the breeding ground of formative factors: it engenders attitudes, lifestyles, exemplars, it abounds with archetypes and modes of conduct that create a social atmosphere in which human destinies are formed.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the term culture, many Americans solely associate it with fine art, museums, excellent cuisine, and orchestral...

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