Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, 28, announced last night that he had purchased The New Republic, the 100-odd-year-old journal of liberal opinion.
The most striking piece of news here is that a man under thirty has bought one of the most important names in American letters. It’s like when Jared Kushner bought The New York Observer at 25, though somehow more jarring.
But it’s also notable that Hughes, who is not Jewish, has bought a magazine that’s been associated with Jewish interests, and with Martin Peretz, its exceptionally vocal Jewish owner, for decades.
Peretz is a onetime Harvard professor and an outspoken and often controversial voice on Jewish and Israel issues. Peretz apologized and more or less retreated from public life following a 2010 controversy over a blog post in which he wrote that he “wondered” whether Muslims were worthy of First Amendment protections.