"The unexamined life is not worth living." A magazine of ideas and ideals.
What is The Point?
The Point is a twice-yearly magazine of non-fiction that challenges its readers to question pre-conceived ideas about our most urgent cultural and personal decisions—what to eat, who to love, where to work, how to vote. Not content with conventional wisdom, or the latest pop science platitudes, in every issue our writers enlist great thinkers from the past and present for perspective and context. What would Plato have to say about Facebook? Could Tolstoy teach Tiger Moms something about parenting? How might Veblen account for the allure of Goldman Sachs? Although it may sound immodest, the mission of the magazine is to help us lead better lives. We don’t really see any other “point” to thinking and writing.
How can you help?
Since 2009, The Point has been steadily growing because of loyal subscribers, store sales, and the willingness of both staff and writers to work for free. For us, editing is its own reward, but we feel strongly that it is time to pay our writers.
The money we are trying to raise here will allow us to pay the writers in Issue 7 and cover the printing expenses, with some left over to help make sure the new issue reaches as many readers as possible. If we raise more than we've asked for, we'll be able to put it toward long-term goals, like obtaining an office space in Chicago, and organizing panel events based around our symposium topics.
Since The Point is a 501c3, all donations are tax deductible.
What kinds of things can I read about in The Point?
You can read about virtually anything in The Point—from watching Oprah, to the state of contemporary “realist” fiction, to the role of professional sports in America. A few of our favorite essays from past issues have dealt with:
- How Stendhal can help you with dating
- Why conservatives should read Marx
- Eckhart Tolle and the art of living in the moment
- Tolstoy and Tiger Moms
- A plea for human food
- Small talk
- Improv as a way of life
- War and video games
- Pop culture's obsession with its past
- Jonathan Franzen and David Foster Wallace
- What would Veblen say about Goldman Sachs?
- Did steroids end sports?
What is planned for issue 7?
In the upcoming issue, we hope to have essays on the ethics of manipulated photojournalism, David Shields's "real" problem, and a socialism suitable for America. We'll have reviews of the television show Enlightened and the Coca-Cola museum, as well as on the phenomenon of political outrage on the Left. Our symposium asks the question: What is marriage for? In addition to arguments from both sides of the gay marriage debate, responses include explorations of marriage and mortality, marriage as metaphor, and marriage as a microcosm for a utopian politics. Our “Letter from the Editor” will be on security, both national and personal.
What have people said about The Point?
“Provocative and eclectic … You are really missing something if you don’t know about this publication.” –Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune
“At present, the American magazine essay, both the long feature piece and the critical essay, is flourishing in unlikely circumstances.” – James Wood, The New Yorker
“The Point is subtle and various, empathetic and argumentative, and more unexpected than it seems at first acquaintance.” –Times Literary Supplement
“I’m going to recommend everyone have a look at The Point… a mixture of literary and cultural criticism, written in a learned but far from academic prose.” –Scott Esposito, Conversational Reading
“This magazine is my favorite all time thing to read.” –Annabelle, Twitter
Why should I give to The Point?
People often complain that we don't live in a reflective or critical society, by which they usually mean that not enough people agree with them. Unlike the majority of intellectual magazines, The Point is not defined by a political or literary agenda, but rather by the commitment to challenge its readers to reflect on whatever they believe. The goal is to rehabilitate the ancient idea—which even those of us who learn it in Philosophy 101 are promptly encouraged to forget—that the point of serious thinking is not to impart information, or to analyze language, or to tell a nice story, but to discover how to live.
This is not (as you might imagine) a terribly profitable project, but the response that we've received to the magazine so far indicates that it is a welcome one, with a much larger potential audience than we have so far been able to reach. We hope you will support it.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Because of our small staff and the fact that we work with writers who are often not used to writing in our style, our articles go through a long and sometimes arduous editorial process, often delaying publication by a few weeks. Other than that, there are no risks. We have done this several times before and with your help will be able to continue doing it long into the future.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Receive an earnest and personalized thank you note from one of the editors.Estimated delivery:
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Be one of the first to receive Issue 7 of The Point magazine.Estimated delivery:Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
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Receive Issues 7 and 6 of The Point.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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Receive Issue 4, which includes our acclaimed symposium "What is sport for?" Also receive Issues 6 and 7.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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The editors will give you personal feedback on your next paper, presentation or memo. You will also receive Issues 4, 6 and 7.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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Receive a limited edition "The Point: Question Received Ideas" tote bag, along with Issues 4, 5, 6 and 7.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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Receive the entire catalog of The Point (including the rare Issue 1), and the "Question Received Ideas" tote bag.Estimated delivery:
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Receive a lifetime subscription plus all back issues of The Point, a specially commissioned artistic print of one of our favorite "Points" from the website, along with all the perks above.Estimated delivery:
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We will fly you to Chicago for The Point's Issue 7 Release Party. (Location: the Bridgeport Art Center. Date: TBA--probably in early November). All of the perks above.Estimated delivery:
- (45 days)