||The Commentary Magazine Archive is chiefly comprised
of editorial correspondence along with smaller volumes of business files,
manuscripts, and clippings. The archive's contents date from 1942 to 2004 and
arranged in five series: I. Editorial Correspondence, 1957-1997; II. Administrative
Files, 1942-2004; III. Contentions newsletter issues,
1982-1989; IV. Manuscripts, 1946-1978; and V. Clippings of Norman Podhoretz's
New York Post Columns, 1985-1989.The series are ordered
by size, largest to smallest in volume, and overall reflect the arrangement of
original organizational structure of the archive. The original order of items
each series is also largely preserved.
||Series I. Editorial Correspondence, 1957-1997 (116 document boxes), constitutes the
bulk of the archive. It includes more than 23,000 individual incoming letters.
Correspondence is arranged chronologically by the year (or date span) then
alphabetically by incoming correspondent name. The correspondence mainly consists
article and review proposals and letters of acceptance or rejection. The years
to 1969 lack correspondent names S and U-Z. Mimeographed, carbon copied, or
photocopied outgoing correspondence is stapled to incoming correspondence. Examples
of incoming correspondence not related to article and review proposals include
letters from organizations soliciting support (financial or otherwise), invitations
to symposiums, conferences, and legal disputes. Examples of outgoing correspondence
includes letters soliciting articles and book reviews and memoranda between Commentary staff (primarily Norman Podhoretz and Neal
Kozodoy) and staff of the American Jewish Committee. Manuscript drafts occasionally
accompany article proposals, but are a rare exception. An index of works found
the correspondence is provided at the end of the finding aid. The index is arranged
alphabetically by author and identifies the location and state of each work.
||Prominent correspondents include: Elliott Abrams,
Joseph Adelson, Robert Alter,
James Baldwin, David Bar-Illan,
Robert L. Bartley, Arnold Beichman,
Daniel Bell, William John Bennett,
Herbert B. Berkowitz, Donald M.
Blinken, Georges Borchardt, Eric
Breindel, Lawrence A. Chickering,
Kathleen Cleaver, Arthur A. Cohen,
Elliot E. Cohen, Gerson D. Cohen,
Lucy S. Dawidowicz, Martin Edelston,
Daniel Judah Elazar, Joseph Epstein,
Maurice Friedberg, Milton Friedman,
Murray Friedman, Carl Gershman,
Newt Gingrich, Nathan Glazer,
Robert Bernard Glynn, Robert Gordis,
Hillel Halkin, Owen Harries,
Paul Hollander, Sidney Hook,
Charles Horner, David Horowitz,
Erich Isaac, Dan Jacobson,
George Jochnowitz, Jacob Katz,
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Henry Kissinger,
Hilton Kramer, Irving Kristol,
Walter Laqueur, Melvin J. Lasky,
Leslie Lenkowsky, Navrozov Lev,
Bernard Lewis, Guenter Lewy,
Martin Seymour Lipset, Kenneth Schuyler
Lynn, Hyam Maccoby, Daniel Patrick
Moynihan, Lev Navrozov, Richard John
Neuhaus, Jacob Neusner, Robert A.
Nisbet, Michael Novak, Cynthia
Ozick, Daniel Pipes, Arch
Puddington, Chaim Raphael, Ronald
Reagan, Robert A. Riesman, Frederick
P. Rose, A. M. Rosenthal, Eugene V.
Rostow, Stanley Rothman, William
Safire, Harvey B. Schechter, Stephen
Schwartz, Philip Roth, Jonathan D.
Sarna, Stephen Schwartz, Peter
Max Singer, Miro M. Todorovich,
David Vital, George F. Will,
James Q. Wilson, Renee Winegarten, and
David R. Zukerman.
||Series II. Administrative Files, 1942-2004 (11 document boxes), records the daily
business and administrative activities of Commentary. This series is arranged alphabetically by subject and includes advertising
reports, financial reports, minutes, circulation analysis, budgets, editorial
complaints, editor-search documents, endorsements, legal claims and disputes,
regarding Norman Podhoretz (including many from his 1995 retirement dinner), orders,
presentations, promotions, files of the publications committee, subscriptions,
surveys, documents relating to the 1995 publication, What to
do About…A Collection of Essays from Commentary Magazine, and more.
Correspondence is interspersed throughout the series and there is some overlap
content with files in Series I. One box of loose administrative files was
re-integrated with the main body of files after arrival at the Ransom Center.
||Series III. comprises issues from the newsletter Contentions spanning 1982-1990 (3 document boxes). Each issue is
accompanied by a photocopy of the typed draft of Neal Kozodoy's segment for that
issue along with related research materials. Contentions was the monthly newsletter of the Committee for the Free
World, an anti-Communist think tank founded in 1981and discontinued shortly after
1989. The collection does not represent a complete run from 1982 to 1989 as some
months are lacking. The series is arranged chronologically. An index of drafts
provided at the end of the finding aid identifies the box and folder location
each essay. The index is arranged alphabetically by title.
||Series IV. Manuscripts, 1946-1978 (2 document boxes), includes corrected drafts,
galleys, and page proofs from a small number of articles published in Commentary. Authors include Hannah Arendt, Isaac Babel,
Pearl Buck, John Dewey, Leslie A. Fiedler, Nathan Glazer, Sidney Hook, Chalmers
Johnson, Arthur Koestler, Guenter Lewy, Thomas Mann, George Orwell, Jean-Paul
Sartre, Lionel Trilling, Paul Tillich, and Arnold J. Toynbee. The series is
organized alphabetically by author. All essays published in Commentary are available online through the Commentary Magazine
||Series V. contains complete clippings of Norman Podhoretz's New York Post columns from 1985 to 1989 (1 document box). Included are
a mix of photocopied clippings and originals. The clippings are arranged
chronologically and were originally housed each in their own numbered folder (1-204)
with three additional unnumbered clippings from Podhoretz's first three posts.
are now grouped within six folders. An index of his posts is provided at the end
the finding aid. The index is arranged alphabetically by title and identifies
box and folder location of each clipping.