Myron Magnet is City Journal‘s editor-at-large and was editor from 1994 through 2006. His latest work, Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution, won praise from former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey as “a great read, . . . fascinating and provocative.” Historian Richard Brookhiser called it “splendid” and “riveting,” and Michael Goodwin judged it “a very readable gem, . . . a brilliant road map.”
A former member of the board of editors of Fortune, he has written about a wide variety of topics, from American society and social policy, economics, and corporate management to intellectual history, literature, architecture, and the country’s founding. In addition to his many City Journal and Fortune articles, Magnet has written for Commentary, Wall Street Journal, National Review, The American Spectator, and New York Times, among others. He has appeared on numerous TV and radio programs. Of Magnet’s first book, Dickens and the Social Order (1985), the New York Times stated: “Perhaps he will consider writing a sequel; even if it turned out to be only half as good as Dickens and the Social Order, it would be very well worth reading.”
Magnet’s The Dream and the Nightmare: The Sixties’ Legacy to the Underclass (1993) argues that the radical transformation of elite and mainstream American culture that took place in the 1960s produced catastrophic changes in behavior at the bottom of society that gave rise to America’s urban underclass. President George W. Bush told the Wall Street Journal that it was, after the Bible, the most important book that he’d ever read; Karl Rove called the book “a roadmap to the president’s compassionate conservatism”; Hilton Kramer called it “an indispensable guide to the outstanding question of the day”; and columnist Mona Charen deemed it “the book of the decade.”
Magnet’s widely praised The Founders at Home: The Building of America, 1735–1817 (2013) brings to life “the construction of a country,” wrote Richard Brookhiser in National Review, “from first thoughts to finishing touches—from the Zenger trial to the Battle of New Orleans”—through a series of biographical sketches that provide “the pleasures of biography, while putting us back in the texture and complexity of a world.” Magnet is the editor of What Makes Charity Work? A Century of Public and Private Philanthropy (2000), The Millennial City: A New Urban Paradigm for 21st-Century America (2001), Modern Sex: Liberation and Its Discontents (2001), and The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan than Today’s (2007).
Magnet holds B.A.s from Columbia University and the University of Cambridge, as well as an M.A. from Cambridge and a Ph.D. from Columbia, where he taught for several years, before joining the staff of Fortune. In 2008, President Bush awarded Magnet the National Humanities Medal.