Myron Magnet

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Myron Magnet
Myron Magnet at Hamilton Grange, 2013
Born August 1944 (age 70)
Springfield, Massachusetts
Notable awards National Humanities Medal

Myron James Magnet (born 1944) is an American journalist and historian. He was the editor of City Journal from 1994 to 2007 and is now the magazine's Editor-at-Large.[1]

He is an American journalist and historian. He was the editor of City Journal from 1994 to 2007 and is now the magazine's Editor-at-Large.[2]

His latest book, The Founders at Home: The Building of America, 1735–1817, has recently been published by W. W. Norton.[3]


Magnet was born in 1944 to a physician father and a mother educated to be a teacher. He was the eldest of three children and grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts, a member of the close-knit Jewish community there. He recalls that his mother urged all of her children to become "pillars of the community" and to take an active part in public affairs. All three pursued higher education and joined the professional class.[citation needed]

Magnet served as editor of City Journal from 1994 to 2007, and is now its editor-at-large. Under his editorship, the magazine helped shape Rudy Giuliani's agenda as mayor of New York City.[4][5] Magnet has also served as a member of the Board of Editors at Fortune magazine, a publication for which he wrote numerous articles on social policy, management, and finance after joining its staff in 1980, in addition to publishing essays or op-eds in Commentary, The Washington Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, among other publications.[6]

The author of several books, he is well known for writing The Dream and the Nightmare: The Sixties' Legacy to the Underclass, which President George W. Bush has cited as a profound influence on his approach to public policy.[7][8] The central premise of the book is that culture powerfully shapes economic and social outcomes, and the dramatic cultural transformation that the United States experienced during the 1960s unintentionally created an entrenched underclass, whose societal maladies are still with us.[7]

In November, 2008, President Bush awarded Magnet the National Humanities Medal "for scholarship and visionary influence in renewing our national culture of compassion. He has combined literary and cultural history with a profound understanding of contemporary urban life to examine new ways of relieving poverty and renewing civic institutions."[9]

President George W. Bush awards Myron Magnet the National Humanities Medal, November 2008

Magnet graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1962. He holds bachelor's degrees from both Columbia University (1966) and the University of Cambridge, as well an M.A. from Cambridge and a Ph.D. in English Literature from Columbia University. He has taught at Columbia and at Middlebury College.[6]


Books written
Books edited
  • The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan than Today's (Ivan R. Dee, 2007, ISBN 978-1566637602)
  • Modern Sex: Liberation and its Discontents (Ivan R. Dee, 2001, ISBN 978-1566633833)
  • What Makes Charity Work? A Century of Public and Private Philanthropy (Ivan R. Dee, 2000, ISBN 978-1566633345)
  • The Millennial City: A New Urban Paradigm for 21st-Century America (Ivan R. Dee, 2000, ISBN 978-1566632850)


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