To the Editors:
As contributors to The New York Review of Books we are writing to express our dismay at the departure of Ian Buruma from the editorship of the Review.
Ian Buruma has proved to be an outstanding editor—as accomplished in this role as he was as a writer for the Review. Under his guidance the NYRB has maintained the highest intellectual standards, extended its range, and expanded its body of contributors. We find it very troubling that the public reaction to a single article, “Reflections from a Hashtag”—repellent though some of us may have found this article—should have been the occasion for Ian Buruma’s forced resignation. Given the principles of open intellectual debate on which the NYRB was founded, his dismissal in these circumstances strikes us as an abandonment of the central mission of the Review, which is the free exploration of ideas.
Neal Ascherson, Gini Alhadeff, Anne Appelbaum, Lisa Appignanesi, John Banville, Geremie Barmé, Louis Begley, Richard Bernstein, Raymond Bonner, Alfred Brendel, David Bromwich, Simon Callow, Louisa Chiang, Joel E. Cohen, Henri Cole, Linda Colley, Robert Cottrell, Robert Darnton, Christopher de Bellaigue, Janine di Giovanni, Morris Dickstein, Ariel Dorfman, Freeman Dyson, Carl Elliott, James Fenton, Orlando Figes, Frances Fitzgerald, Tim Flannery, Roy Foster, Ian Frazier, Linda Greenhouse, Max Hastings, Jacob Heilbrunn, Lindsey Hilsum, Adam Hochschild, Arlie Russell Hochschild, Eva Hoffman, Alan Hollinghurst, Stephen Holmes, Michael Ignatieff, Sidney Jones, Daniel Kevles, Laura Kipnis, James Kirchick, Enrique Krauze, Jill Krementz, Jackson Lears, Hermione Lee, Mark Lilla, Perry Link, Phillip Lopate, Alison Lurie, Janet Malcolm, James Mann, Avishai Margalit, Ruth Margalit, David Margolick, Ian McEwan, Benjamin Moser, Anka Muhlstein, Thomas Nagel, Andrew J. Nathan, John Nathan, Aryeh Neier, Fintan O’Toole, James Oakes, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Paxton, Caryl Phillips, Darryl Pinckney, Ahmed Rashid, Jonathan Rauch, David Rieff, Max Rodenbeck, Larry Rohter, John Ryle, Luc Sante, T.M. Scanlon, Margaret Scott, James Shapiro, Adam Shatz, Harry Shearer, David Shulman, Elisabeth Sifton, Andrew Solomon, George Soros, Alessandra Stanley, Jonathan Stevenson, Sam Tanenhaus, Dina Temple-Raston, Colm Tóibín, Helen Vendler, Edward Vulliamy, Michael Walzer, Marina Warner, Rosanna Warren, Alexander Waugh, Steven Weinberg, Tim Weiner, Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Lawrence Weschler, Edmund White, Sean Wilentz, Simon Winchester, James Wolcott, and Robert Worth
The Editorial Staff replies:
We understand our contributors’ concerns. Rea Hederman, the publisher of the Review, has said publicly that Ian Buruma’s departure was not a response to outrage over “Reflections from a Hashtag,” and we strongly believe in Rea’s commitment to editorial independence.
With regard to the necessity of open intellectual debate and the free exploration of ideas in our pages, we couldn’t agree more.