The Best of Persuasion

On the first anniversary of Persuasion's founding, ten highlights from the past year's coverage.

Over the past year, Persuasion has sought to make good on its promise to defend the values of a free society from threats, regardless of their origin. Today, as we celebrate our first anniversary and the July 4th holiday, we’re sharing highlights from the past 12 months.

From critiques of Trumpist disinformation campaigns to proposals for a more hopeful anti-racism to profiles of forgotten global human rights champions, we hope you will find in the list below a Persuasion piece that you have not encountered before, or one that perhaps has renewed resonance.

The Editors

P.S. Join us next Sunday, July 11, to celebrate our first anniversary with Anne Applebaum, Jonathan Haidt, Coleman Hughes, Thomas Chatterton Williams, and many others!


In A Taxonomy of Fear, Emily Yoffe dissected today’s environment of “personal timorousness and collective mercilessness,” and the self-censorship that often results.

In A Better Anti-Racism, Coleman Hughes argued that we should transcend racial boundaries, rather than reinforce them in the name of progress.

In Why I’m Losing Trust in the InstitutionsPersuasion founder Yascha Mounk challenged a proposed CDC vaccination program that would have increased mortality in the name of social justice.

In Fleeing Venezuela, Carlos Hernández shared his harrowing first-person account of escaping Maduro’s failed state.

In My Story, Keira Bell described in her own words how it felt to enter history in the trans debate.

In Racism & Enlightenment, Ian Buruma wrote on the universal lessons of earlier thinkers.

In The Other Navalnys, Andrew Stroehlein highlighted the struggles and courage of four lesser-known human rights activists around the world.

In The Simpleton Manifesto, Nathaniel Rachman described how simplism—the belief that “the slogan is the platform”—loosens our grip on political reality.

In Lessons of a Black Pioneer, Christina Hoff Sommers told the story of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, whose remarkable forgiveness of the segregationist George Wallace rejected the politics of contempt.

In Trump’s Firehose of Falsehood, Jonathan Rauch examined the information warfare tactics at the heart of Trumpist discourse.

And, across our pages and in our podcast, we continue to highlight the global threats to a free society posed by illiberalism in places like PolandHong Kong, and Russia, among others.


Persuasion magazine is a publication of Persuasion Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. To learn more about the community we are building at Persuasion, have a look at our About page.