Hello. We at The Coolidge Review are teachers, professors, nurses, students, doctors, philosophers, and concerned citizens. Though we are not uniform in political and cultural opinion, we are unified in our solid and sober-minded strategic presentation of events and cultural analysis.
One of our most distinguishing characteristics is the format of our magazine which actually gives readers a reason to pick up a physical copy or flip through our digital edition and read it from cover to cover. The internet era trend of reading articles divorced from their traditionally edited format within a magazine or newspaper is pragmatic and seemingly time efficient even if it reeks of radical individualism. The vision we have for our magazine is to give our readers a reason to read from cover to cover. What we offer is an experience…a journey that puts the past two months of world events in fresh perspective. To achieve this we offer more than traditional sections and columns. From the front cover through to the rolling of the credits we use a director’s vision to present our various magazine stages, filled with insight, irony, judgement, and joshing, to illuminate a defining and meaningful period of both your life and the world, the past two months. By the time you lay our magazine down we hope you are ready to walk away with a renewed zeal for a life of possibilities and a renewed sober but hopeful conviction that our actions as humans matter.
The idea for this magazine initially sprung from The Salisbury Review, a British conservative magazine founded during the Cold War and initially edited by the philosopher Roger Scruton. Its namesake, the 3rd Marquis of Salisbury, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, served three terms as prime minister of the United Kingdom in the late 19th century and was renowned for his relaxed style of governance. Likewise, The Coolidge Review is named after the most notable yet humble U.S. president of the 1920s, Calvin Coolidge. Under his sober guidance through, and in spite of, prohibition, America prospered greatly with zeal, creativity, and economic license, although not altogether without negative consequence. Much of our current cultural consciousness, lifestyle, technology, societal merits and faults, and even precursors to our modern American spirit are derived from 1920s era manifestations. The 1920s didn’t appear solely to people in the 1920s to be modern. The 1920s seems to serve as a perennial definition of what it means to be modern. What then was compositely special about that point in time? Other revealing questions commonly thought but seldom asked concerning that era include, “What did those classy cats have in the ’20s that we don’t today?” “What is the relationship of traditional elegance and high culture to all that is modern and risqué?” “How do we achieve a balance between tradition and that which is distinctly new or modern?” These questions are to be explored and answered, not through prescriptive abstract language crafted to ideologically enslave the most minds for the cheapest price, but through creative and often stubborn practical application and argument. The best way out of any puzzle is usually the most creative; however, first one must recognise limitations and the tools at one’s disposal. Or, in the words of Coolidge himself, “The slogan, ‘press on’ has solved, and always will solve, the problems of the human race.” The approach of The Coolidge Review employs all these elements, especially the stubbornness.
The basic intent of this magazine is fundamentally twofold. First, the intent is to demonstrate the dependent and complementary status of all that is modern, classy, and genuinely progressive to traditional aesthetic styles, values, and moral and societal principles. Secondly, it is to expand the applicability of those traditional guidelines to as many areas as possible in order to demonstrate what true activism and creativity is capable of when judgement is allowed to guide the proverbial potter’s hand. This way what is traditional will always be challenging and constructive rather than stale and irrelevant.
Perhaps counterintuitively, studies show that creativity occurs most prominently and effectively under certain helpful restrictions and guidelines. Our writers believe this applies to politics and activism as well. Creativity should not be banned from the public square in favour of quick fixes or lazy thinking; likewise creativity, humour, and irony shouldn’t be banned from cultural and political criticism. We hope to demonstrate what purpose-driven creativity looks like when applied to the biggest issues of our day – whether those issues have escaped unnoticed under sensationalist radars, or are well known and mainstream.
This vision of a sober-minded yet intensely imaginative magazine will feature much more than mere analytical articles and cultural commentary. From start to finish, it will be a refreshing respite from the superficial and superfluous in the format, style, content, and presentation of more than ten diverse and insightful sections. The layout of the magazine will cut through the fog of commercial distraction, and bestow a clarity on the world that can only be seen when you choose to keep cool with The Coolidge Review. Even the style of the magazine, which will be reminiscent of the Art Deco style of the ’20s and ’30s, fits into the magazine’s philosophical consistency. Art Deco featured an undeniably modern, classy, and edgy style. Essentially, however, it was little more than a gloss-over, or an update and revival of, classical designs, styles, and architecture. Originally Art Deco was employed to help the modern man and woman, both in Europe and the United States, find a fresh identity and a way of psychological escape after the preternatural trauma of The Great War. Nonetheless, it was unmistakably dependent upon the timeless aesthetic and existential needs of human beings, and cleanly expressed these needs. This function parallels the literary and philosophical aims of the magazine nicely.
We employ judgement, humour, compassion, irony, classiness, and imagination to slash through hype, ideological distraction, and commercial trappings. With your help, we will continue to vibrantly illustrate why the things that really matter do not always get the media attention they deserve.
Keep cool. Read The Coolidge Review.