Ian Buruma Named Editor of The New York Review of Books1 min read


This content was originally published by JENNIFER SCHUESSLER on 18 May 2017 | 10:05 pm.
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Ian Buruma, in 2013.

Merlijn Doomernik

The New York Review of Books has announced that Ian Buruma will be its next editor, succeeding Robert B. Silvers, who died in March at 87.

The announcement ended one of the New York literary world’s favorite, and longest-running, parlor games: guessing who would follow Mr. Silvers, who, along with Barbara Epstein, founded the magazine in 1963, and continued to work as his sole editor until weeks before his death. (Ms. Epstein died in 2006.)

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The Dutch-born Mr. Buruma, 65, has been a regular contributor to The Review since 1985, and is the author of a number of well-regarded books on World War II, Japanese history, Dutch politics and other subjects. Since 2003, he has been a professor of human rights and journalism at Bard College.

The choice seemed to signal continuity at The Review, whose design and mission have remained virtually unchanged since its founding.

“I’ve known Ian since 1985 and know that his long association with The Review will ensure that the values and editorial direction of The Review will be upheld,” Rea Hederman, the magazine’s publisher, said in a statement. “Ian’s long relationship with both founding editors will preserve the editorial quality and independence for which The Review has been known since its first issue.”

In an interview with Slate shortly after Mr. Silvers’s death, Mr. Buruma pushed aside rumors that he would replace Mr. Silvers, and paid tribute to Mr. Silvers’s demanding but respectful editorial style.

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“I think the great thing about him as an editor is that he had no ambition to be a writer himself,” he said. “He really was an editor.”

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