Exact Editions is pleased to announce that subscribers to The Baffler will now have access to the full digital archive on the Exact Editions digital platform. The Baffler’s archive now spans over 30 years and includes over 50 issues that allows for readers to explore more of the magazine’s critiques and analysis of US politics and popular culture at the time of each issue’s publication.

The Baffler is America’s leading voice of interesting and unexpected left-wing political criticism, cultural analysis, short stories, poems, and art, published six times a year. Founded in 1988 by Thomas Frank as “the journal that blunts the cutting edge,” the magazine is currently edited by Jonathon Sturgeon and headquartered in New York City. It spotlights both new and established writers, and regular contributors include Barbara Ehrenreich, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, George Scialabba, Rafia Zakaria, and Kim Kelly, among others.

History of The Baffler

The Baffler 1988 was first established in the summer of 1988, initially introduced as a punk literary magazine in its very first issue. The founders, Thomas Frank and Keith White, were recent graduates of the University of Virginia and named their journal as a joke on academic fads like undecidability, then in fashion.

The operation migrated from Charlottesville to Chicago with its second issue in the summer of 1990. Thomas Frank assumed the role of editor in chief over the next two decades with a small crew of part-time volunteers who edited, designed, and published the magazine which was then a quarterly that appeared only once in a while. 

The Baffler’s second issue, №2 ‘Suburbia’

Midway through the Spring 2001 production of issue no. 14, “The God That Sucked,” the operation and most of its inventory went up in smoke. “Years of incendiary cultural criticism finally achieved ignition,” the editors gamely explained. “A pre-dawn fire swept through our office, awakening residents of Chicago’s South Side to the unmistakable smell of burning Bafflers.” 

№14 ‘The God That Sucked’

However, while regular publication never resumed, the magazine never folded. Issues continued to be published and in 2010, the publication was under the leadership of John Summers, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in partnership with MIT Press. In 2012 The Baffler began its most regular publication schedule to date with three issues a year.

In 2016, The Baffler HQ was located to New York and Chris Lehmann took the helm as editor in chief. Regular targets The Baffler exposed from then on included “Silicon Valley snake-oil, the deadening weight of consumer capitalism, our faithless media, the authoritarian overlords of our decaying body politic, and their undead neoliberal consensus.”

Subscribers can explore over 30 years of content, with over 50 issues included in the archive. Readers will discover a variety of socio-economic subjects and topical political events of the time in the US tackled, as well as a multitude of pop culture and lifestyle brands drubbed. Fully searchable, with a clear stacking interface, readers can enjoy and navigate all editorial content of The Baffler at ease.

For institutions interested in requesting a free trial of the The Baffler, please click here.

Individuals can purchase an annual or quarterly subscription by clicking here.