The New Republic is 100 years old and yet it doesn’t look a day over 23. The first TNR was published November 7, 1914.
Unlike the highbrow little magazines to come in the 1930s, The New Republic wasn’t intended to be a clubby conversation among the hyper-literate. [Herbert] Croly had a very specific understanding of elites: They were meant to be a vanguard that would self-consciously shape the political culture of the country and set its artistic standards. Croly wanted his publication to serve as a transmission belt of ideas, carrying the thoughts of intellectuals to a much broader and, therefore, much more meaningful audience.
See TNR’s first cover below. It was… Plain!