Washington Monthly

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Washington Monthly
Editor Paul Glastris
FrequencyMonthly (1969–2008), Bimonthly (2008–present)
Circulation 10,630
First issueFebruary 19, 1969
Country United States
Based in Washington, D.C.
Website washingtonmonthly.com
ISSN 0043-0633

Washington Monthly is a bimonthly [lower-alpha 1] nonprofit magazine of United States politics and government that is based in Washington, D.C. The magazine is known for its annual ranking of American colleges and universities, which serves as an alternative to the Forbes and U.S. News & World Report rankings.



The magazine was founded on February 19, 1969 by Charles Peters, who wrote the "Tilting at Windmills" column in each issue until 2014. [1] Paul Glastris, former speechwriter for Bill Clinton, has been Washington Monthly's editor-in-chief since 2001. In 2008, the magazine switched from a monthly to a bimonthly publication schedule, citing high publication costs.

Past staff editors of the magazine include Jonathan Alter, Taylor Branch, James Fallows, Joshua Green, David Ignatius, Mickey Kaus, Nicholas Lemann, Suzannah Lessard, Jon Meacham, Timothy Noah, Joe Nocera, and Steven Waldman. [2]

In 2008, the liberal watchdog and advocacy group Common Cause considered acquiring Washington Monthly, but the deal fell apart. [3] [4]

Contents and viewpoint

The politics of Washington Monthly are often considered center-left. [5] [6] [7] Founder Charles Peters refers to himself as a New Deal Democrat and advocates the use of government to address social problems. His columns also frequently emphasized the importance of a vigilant "fourth estate" in keeping government honest.

Washington Monthly features a continuing blog; "Political Animal" was written principally by Kevin Drum for several years, with frequent guest contributions by Washington Monthly's current and alumni editors. In 2008, Steve Benen took over as lead blogger; in 2012, he was succeeded by Ed Kilgore. [8] Kilgore left the magazine in 2015. [9]

In addition to "Political Animal," the magazine's website also hosts "Ten Miles Square," a general blog featuring posts from staff and political scientists, which debuted in 2011, [10] and "College Guide," a blog about higher education, which the magazine began offering in 2009. [11]

College rankings

Washington Monthly's annual college and university rankings, [12] a deliberate alternative college guide to U.S. News & World Report and Forbes College Rankings among domestic publications, began as a research report in 2005. It was introduced as an official set of rankings in the September 2006 issue. [13]

Its "National Universities Rankings", most recently published in 2016, began as a research report in 2005, with rankings appearing in the September 2006 issue. Washington Monthly rates schools "based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country)." [14]

Current national rankings

Top national universities2020 Rank [15] LocationTop liberal arts colleges2020 Rank [15] Location
Stanford University 1Flag of California.svg California Amherst College 1Flag of Massachusetts.svg Massachusetts
Harvard University 2Flag of Massachusetts.svg Massachusetts Wesleyan University 2Flag of Connecticut.svg Connecticut
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 3Flag of Massachusetts.svg Massachusetts Berea College 3Flag of Kentucky.svg Kentucky
Yale University 4Flag of Connecticut.svg Connecticut Washington and Lee University 4Flag of Virginia.svg Virginia
Princeton University 5Flag of New Jersey.svg New Jersey Harvey Mudd College 5Flag of California.svg California
Duke University 6Flag of North Carolina.svg North Carolina Pomona College 6Flag of California.svg California
University of Pennsylvania 7Flag of Pennsylvania.svg Pennsylvania Vassar College 7Flag of New York.svg New York
University of Wisconsin-Madison 8Flag of Wisconsin.svg Wisconsin Middlebury College 8Flag of Vermont.svg Vermont
University of California, San Diego 9Flag of California.svg California Claremont McKenna College 9Flag of California.svg California
Utah State University 10Flag of Utah.svg Utah Williams College 10Flag of Massachusetts.svg Massachusetts
University of California, Los Angeles 11Flag of California.svg California Bowdoin College 11Flag of Maine.svg Maine
Texas A&M University 12Flag of Texas.svg Texas Haverford College 12Flag of Pennsylvania.svg Pennsylvania
University of California, Davis 13Flag of California.svg California Wellesley College 13Flag of Massachusetts.svg Massachusetts
Columbia University 14Flag of New York.svg New York Grinnell College 14Flag of Iowa.svg Iowa
University of Florida 15Flag of Florida.svg Florida Swarthmore College 15Flag of Pennsylvania.svg Pennsylvania


The Washington Monthly receives financial support from the Lumina Foundation to provide coverage of post-secondary education-related issues. [16] The magazine has also received funding from the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, [17] the Carnegie Corporation of New York, [18] and individual supporters, including Warren Buffett and Markos Kounalakis. [2]

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  1. Peters, Charles. "Why bad news should always trickle up ... Polyester and merlot ... The hippest fund-raiser in New York". Washington Monthly (Jan–Feb 2014). Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  2. 1 2 Carr, David (April 22, 2002). "New Life for Washington Watchdog". The New York Times. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  3. Birnbaum, Jeffrey H. (February 19, 2008). "Common Cause, Washington Monthly Explore a Common Future". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  4. Calderone, Michael (May 27, 2008). "Washington Monthly not merging with Common Cause". Politico. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  5. "Media Bias". Politics Unspun. 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  6. Kilgore, Ed (December 24, 2015). "Is America Really Moving Left?". New York Magazine. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  7. Karlgaard, Rich (September 14, 2006). "Republicans For Divided Government". Forbes. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  8. "And that's a wrap". Washington Monthly. January 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  9. Glastris, Paul (November 20, 2015). "Ed Kilgore: Some Going Away Thoughts". Washington Monthly. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  10. "Welcome to the New Washingtonmonthly.com". Washington Monthly. April 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  11. "Welcome". Washington Monthly. September 2009. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  12. Washington Monthly's Annual College Guide
  13. "The Washington Monthly's Annual College Guide"
  14. "2019 National University Rankings". The Washington Monthly. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  15. 1 2 "Washington Monthly's 2020 College Guide and Rankings". The Washington Monthly. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  16. "Strategic Media Partners: Washington Monthly Corporation". Lumina Foundation. 2014. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  17. Hagey, Keach (July 1, 2011). "Liberal journalism's fickle godfather". Politico. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  18. "Grants Database: Washington Monthly Corporation". Carnegie Corporation of New York. 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  1. as in once every two months