Myron Magnet

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Myron Magnet
Myron Magnet at Hamilton Grange, 2013
Myron Magnet at Hamilton Grange, 2013
Born (1944-08-31) August 31, 1944 (age 74)
Springfield, Massachusetts
Notable awardsNational Humanities Medal

Myron James Magnet (born August 31, 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] His latest book, The Founders at Home: The Building of America, 1735–1817, was published in 2013 by W. W. Norton.[2]


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.[3][4] 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 and op-eds in Commentary, The Washington Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, among other publications.[5]

The author of several books, he is best 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.[6][7] 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 social pathologies are still with us.[6] His widely praised The Founders at Home recounts the story of the American Founding from the Zenger trial to the Battle of New Orleans through a series of vivid biographies that aim to explore each Founder's ideas and worldview as well as his actions.[8] In May 2019, Encounter books will publish his new Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution.

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, where he also taught for several years.[5]


Books written
  • Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution (Encounter, 2019, ISBN 978-1641770521)
  • The Founders at Home: The Building of America, 1735–1817 (W. W. Norton, 2013, ISBN 978-0393240214)
  • The Dream and the Nightmare: The Sixties' Legacy to the Underclass (William Morrow, 1993, ISBN 978-0688119515 / Encounter Books, 2000, ISBN 978-1893554023)
  • Dickens and the Social Order (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985, ISBN 978-0812279849 / ISI Books, 2004, ISBN 978-1932236354)
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)


  1. ^ Manhattan Institute Scholar | Myron Magnet
  2. ^ The Founders at Home: The Building of America, 1735–1817, W. W. Norton & Company
  3. ^ Fred Kaplan, "Conservatives plant a seed in NYC: Think tank helps Giuliani set his agenda", Boston Sunday Globe, February 22, 1998
  4. ^ Janny Scott, “Promoting Its Ideas, the Manhattan Institute Has Nudged New York Rightward", The New York Times, May 12, 1997
  5. ^ a b Biography,
  6. ^ a b Ken Ringle, "The Hard Heart Of Poverty; Bush's'Compassionate Conservative' Guru Sees Culture as Culprit", The Washington Post, April 3, 2001
  7. ^ Jackie Calmes, "Bush Looks to Gain SupportOn the Trail in New Hampshire",The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2000
  8. ^ Richard Brookhiser, "Built to Last" National Review December 21, 2013, Michael Goodwin "Founding Fathers' Warnings Powerful Reminder Amidst Government Crisis" New York Post October 12, 2013, James Grant, "Strict Constructions" Wall Street Journal November 9, 2013
  9. ^ “President and Mrs. Bush Attend Presentation of the 2008 National Medals of Arts and National Humanities Medals”, The White House, November 17, 2008

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