Lapham’s Quarterly (LQ) was launched under the auspices of the American Agora Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit organization founded on the belief that historical comprehension is essential to education - literary, scientific, political, and economic. LQ operates with the understanding that familiarity with history is essential to informed public engagement with the salient cultural, ethical and political questions of the present. Each issue of the magazine, 224 pages in length, explores a single theme of abiding interest, through exposition and analysis of primary source material from the cumulative annals of human history: literary and philosophical tracts; memoir and correspondence; poetry and essay; art, photography and illustration. To date we have produced 20 volumes on such topics as work, nature, family, and education.
LQ was founded by Lewis Lapham, Editor Emeritus of Harper’s Magazine, who serves as Editor and Publisher of the magazine, and President of the American Agora Foundation. The staff of LQ brings extensive editorial and publishing experience to its endeavor, and is supported by our editorial board of celebrated scholars and cultural critics. The Board of Directors provides financial support, as well as fiscal and strategic oversight.
LQ maintains an active public presence in New York City and the region through outreach and events, and a web portal to special content, news, and podcasts. The Lines of Work issue, for example, is currently being used in the New York Council for the Humanities’ adult education program. It is the goal of the Foundation and the magazine to add to the teaching arsenal of the educational community and to provide a rich cultural resource to promote the love of history in the reading public. Early issues of the Quarterly, first released in 2008, received a strong initial response, and circulation numbers attest to remarkable growth in readership. As a newer offering, free of advertising, we rely in part on philanthropic contributions to finance essential operations.