Fives Are Wild

In publishing, like politics, five years can be an eternity. Since 1996, a number of political publications have come and gone. Locally, the liberal opinion journal Otherwise and the state government newspaper Beacon Hill, both launched around the same time as this magazine, have disappeared; nationally, George, which debuted a year earlier, is history. As CommonWealth celebrates its fifth anniversary, we’re glad to be here, stronger than ever–more readers, more sponsors, more features and columns, more editorial advisors of wisdom and stature–and planning on a long and successful future.

An anniversary is a time for taking stock–not only of ourselves, but of the world of politics, ideas, and civic life we try to make sense of four times a year. So, in honor of CommonWealth‘s fifth birthday, we offer the following collections of five: five people to watch; five moments of truth; five good ideas that went nowhere; and five–well, four individuals and one pair–who made a difference in the past five years. (Sorry–we ran out of space for a fifth list.) These lists of five are highly idiosyncratic, we are the first to admit. But we hope that our lineup will give rise to reflection and general disputation. Make up your own list. And send it in to CommonWealth (the fastest route is e-mail: