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American Purpose is a magazine, media project, and intellectual community. In the writing we publish, the podcasts we produce, and the conversations we host, we have three broad goals:

First, we aim to defend and promote liberal democracy in the United States. We use “liberal” not in the modern American political sense, but in the classical sense. Liberal values—including equal protection under the rule of law, basic civil liberties, and respect for the rights of the individual and for the autonomy of institutions of civil society—once enjoyed nearly universal consent but have recently come under attack on both the left and the right. We also intend to examine the tensions within liberal democracy that leave it vulnerable to these attacks. We are proponents of reform and revitalization.

Second, we seek to better understand and address the challenges to liberal democracy abroad. As the United States has stepped back from its longstanding role as leader of the world’s liberal democracies, we have seen liberal democracy threatened by both authoritarian regimes and populist governments. We believe such developments present a grave danger to American security and prosperity.

Finally, because we believe that the political and cultural issues of the moment cannot be separated from questions of enduring importance—about the ends and purposes of life, about how to live well and wisely together, about beauty and consolation—we intend to offer criticism and commentary on history and biography, high art and pop culture, science and technology.

Editorial Board

Francis Fukuyama, chair
Hiro Aida
Patrick Chamorel
Daniel Chirot
Eliot Cohen
Tyler Cowen
Larry Diamond
Eric S. Edelman
Richard Thompson Ford
William A. Galston
Adam Garfinkle
Zena Hitz
G. John Ikenberry
Josef Joffe
Craig Kennedy
Michael Mandelbaum
Michael McFaul
Azar Nafisi
Ana Palacio
Nicole Penn
Carla Anne Robbins
Lilia Shevtsova


Jeffrey Gedmin, CEO and editor-in-chief
Suzanne Garment, senior editor
Michelle High, managing editor
Robert Bork III, assistant editor
Richard Aldous, host of ‘Bookstack’ podcast
Michael Kennedy, web developer
Emma Cordover, administrative and research assistant
Sophia Vahanvaty, administrative and research assistant

Circle of Friends

Sydnee Lipset, co-chair
Mike Fox, co-chair

Contributing Editors

James Barnett
Martha Bayles
David Blankenhorn
Ellen Bork
Hal Brands
Tara Isabella Burton
Ian Marcus Corbin
Giselle Donnelly
Charles Dunst
Jamie M. Fly
Nils Gilman
Devorah Goldman
Zach Graves
Anna Grzymala-Busse
Shadi Hamid
Ryan Patrick Hanley
Matt Hanson
Alexandra Hudson
Morten Høi Jensen
Sean Keeley
Adam Keiper
Daniel Kennelly
James Kirchick
David J. Kramer
Didi Kuo
Yuval Levin
Tod Lindberg
R. Jay Magill, Jr.
Laure Mandeville
Damir Marusic
Thomas O. Melia
Joshua Muravchik
Minxin Pei
Marc F. Plattner
Peter Pomerantsev
Dalibor Roháč
Gary J. Schmitt
Gabriel Schoenfeld
Aaron Sibarium
Peter Skerry
Henry Sokolski
Carolyn Stewart
Ben Trachtenberg
Algis Valiunas

Financial Supporters

The Achelis & Bodman Foundation
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Sagamore Institute
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation