Maybe those seemingly incessant anniversary issues aren’t such a bad idea after all. The Atlantic Monthly says its 150th anniversary November issue contains more than 80 pages of adverting-or roughly 20 more ad pages than it normally carries-and a custom gatefold cover "requested specifically by an advertiser." And in a fit of Web 2.0-dom, the magazine is also inviting readers to contribute 200-word essays online for inclusion in a future Atlantic issue. The self-gloating editor’s
note, however, is tough to take:
"Unlike other publications, The Atlantic wasn’t created to track a particular identity found on a map-Hollywood’s glamour, New York’s sophistication, Washington’s power, Silicon Valley’s imagination. It wasn’t yoked from birth to a particular industry or technology, like the automobile or the computer. The Atlantic was created in Boston by writers who saw themselves as the country’s intellectual leaders, and so its scope from the start was national, if rather theoretical."
Then again, if you’ve made it 150 years in magazine publishing, you’re allowed to be little cocky.