The new regime at The New Republic

Sherrill, Robert
March 1976
Columbia Journalism Review;Mar/Apr1976, Vol. 14 Issue 6, p23
This article provides information on the personnel changes made by Martin Peretz after he acquired The New Republic from Gilbert Harrison in spring 1974. In selling to Peretz, Harrison was to some extent fudging on an informal agreement he had had with one of his editors, Walter Pincus. Pincus had gone to the magazine in the fall of 1972 believing that when Harrison finally pulled out, he could buy the magazine. But in 1973 Harrison had some informal discussions with Peretz about selling the magazine, the next thing Pincus knew, Peretz made an offer that Pincus had no real chance, or time, to counter. The drawn-out transfer of power was a disaster all around, both in the Harrison-Peretz relationship and the Peretz-staff relationship. The showdown between Peretz and Harrison came when Peretz wrote an unsigned editorial for the December 14, 1974 issue of the magazine lambasting UNESCO for excluding Israel from its European regional activities. Harrison did not like the editorial; he said it was not accurate. Peretz does not think Harrison's objections were to what he said, but to the fact that he had dared write anything at all and had failed to write it in Harrison's style. In any event, when Harrison edited the article, Peretz did not bother stopping him, he just fired Harrison.


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