AT CENTURY'S END
AT CENTURY'S END
Table of Contents
THE CHANGING GLOBAL ORDER
Table of Contents
If information consists of fragments of experience unrelated to each other, knowledge is structured: what cannot be related or is not relevant as time passes is discarded because it lacks meaning.
New Perspectives Quarterly, (NPQ) from which this collection of essays and interviews is selected was founded ten years ago with precisely these sentiments expressed by Daniel Boorstin ill mind. Our working motto (playing off the famous Club Med ad of the 1980s) has been that NPQ is "the antidote to trivialization." Closer to the function of a book than a magazine NPQ's aim has been to take back the message from the medium in journalism, not reporting the dots but connecting them with perspective. Ahead of their time and tracing tile long Curve of history, the essays and interviews presented here thus not only endure, but become more relevant as the years go by.
In yet another sense, NPQ is not a magazine. It is all exclusive, ongoing dialogue of the world's best minds and most authoritative voices. In the manner of a Hollywood production, We Script the best person anywhere oil the globe 'Who can speak with authority on a subject, and don't rest until they appear '111 print Ill our pages. NPQ's thematic approach then focuses those minds and voices a way that connects the topical debates of the day to the deeper issues of civilization at the end of the twentieth century. No other publication puts it all together in the same way, with contributors who have ranged from Oliver Stone to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, from Richard Nixon to Nelson Mandela, and with all array of issue titles like "Racism Will Always Be with Us," "Superpower Without a Cause," "Looking East: The Confucian Challenge to Western Liberalism," "The Reunification of Japan," "The Post Atlantic Capitalist Order," or "Brave New Biocracy: Health Care from Womb to Tomb."
The idea of a publication where the big players and big thinkers speak to each other by addressing the same theme emerged, appropriately enough, in that ancient capital of dialogue, Athens. Stanley Sheinbaum now NPQ's publisher, a onetime Regent of the University of California and LA. Police Commissioner and I had gone to Athens in 1984 to interview the Greek prime minister, Andreas Papandreou. In a cafe oil Kolonaki Square, Sheinbaum who had been a fellow of the famed Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions founded by University of Chicago president Robert Maynard Hutchins III the 1950s lamented the absence of the kind of serious dialogue about the "great ideas" that had characterized the Hutchins think tank. III those days Hutchins had brought big thinkers from around the world together under one roof In the balmy climes of Santa Barbara, California to tackle the issues of the day.
Why not, we asked each other, start a journal that brings the best minds together tinder one cover instead of' one roof? Under the spell of a double espresso, Sheinbaum was seized by the notion and committed oil the spot to become publisher. When he returned home to California, lie and his wife Betty, all accomplished artist and collector, Put the money where their minds were. They auctioned off Willem de Kooning's Pink Lady to finance the pursuit of ideas. Everything that has happened since is a result of then generosity of spirit. In a very real sense this book Must be dedicated to them since their dedication to the life of the mind made it all possible. Naturally, much credit also belongs to Richard Dennis and the other NPQ board members.
Ten years on, NPQ is all established critical success.
Through our weekly Global Viewpoint column distributed by the Los Angeles
Times Syndicate, we have thirty million readers in fifteen languages through
many of tile world's prestigious papers, ranging from LA Stampa (Italy),
El Pais (Spain), Le Figaro (Paris), Tages Anzeiger (Zurich), De Volkskrant
(Amsterdam), Berlingske Tidende (Copenhagen), Die Presse (Vienna) and
others in Europe to Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan) and the Straits Times of Singapore
in Asia to oEstado de Sao Paulo, Clarin (Buenos Aires), El Mercurio (Santiago),
and Mexico City's Excelsior in Latin America. In the Middle East we appear
in the Saudi paper Asharq Al Awsat and Yedhiot Ahronot (Tel Aviv). We
are also carried regularly in papers such as the International Herald
Tribune and most of the big American regional papers from the Los Angeles
Times to the Miami Herald. Such global exposure has earned us a reputation
as "the CNN of the print media." Critical acclaim has come from
diverse quarters. Carlos Fuentes, the Mexican novelist, says "NPQ
is the only center where the whole intellectual world meets and debates."
GBN Book Club says that "NPQ addresses questions others don't even
think about. It takes remarkable originality, insight, diversity of thought
and depth to identify and address such questions." Henry Grunwald,
editor of Time magazine for two decades, has called NPQ "endlessly
stimulating, one of the few sources of new ideas around." Media Guide
has praised NPQ saying it has "emerged as one of the most intellectually
attractive and stimulating publications in a long time ... never stuffy
or pompous, always tart and vital . . . " The Washington Post says
"NPQ is not looking for ideological advantage or smoothing over rough
edges. It is actual thought." In this volume, for the First time,
we have collected the most important NPQ pieces from the last decade in
book form. If you have known NPQ You Will welcome having a copy of this
enduring format to go along with the enduring thoughts expressed here.
If you haven't known NPQ, there will be no better introduction than this
book. Both are designed for that rare, yet essential, moment when you
can sit down under the reading lamp to reflect on the swirl of events
that sweeps us along in our collective fate. NATHAN P. GARDELS, Editor
Los Angeles, California November 1995