The Sun | The Sun Magazine

The Sun

In each issue of The Sun you’ll find some of the most radically intimate and socially conscious writing being published today. In an age of media conglomerates, we’re something of an oddity: an ad-free, independent, reader-supported magazine.

— From October 2021

The Sun’s 500th Issue

This is the 500th issue of The Sun. In recognition of the milestone, we’ve devoted more than half our pages to a special section titled “One Nation, Indivisible,” which features excerpts from the magazine going back to the first issue in 1974. Rather than celebrate the magazine’s history, we wanted to address the current political moment by giving readers perspective on the past and courage to face the present.

August 2017
Special Section

One Nation, Indivisible

A special section featuring Michelle Alexander, Wendell Berry, Noam Chomsky, Ram Dass, Ani DiFranco, Barbara Ehrenreich, Ross Gay, Barbara Kingsolver, Bill McKibben, and others.

August 2017

Beginnings, Blunders, & Eleventh-Hour Rescues

The illustration that is now part of our logo appears for the first time on the cover of issue 9, which came out in June 1975. The artist, Tom Cleveland, took inspiration from a face on a tarot card and added a monocle for a whimsical touch. The back cover of the issue features a photo of a tree and a quote by Richard Brautigan: “I wonder whether what we are publishing now is worth cutting down trees to make paper for the stuff.”

January 2014

Countless Labors

Our subscriber list has grown far beyond what it was then; we now have seventy-two thousand names on it. The staff is larger. The look of the magazine may have changed, but its content hasn’t traveled far from its roots. It continues to explore those big, unwieldy themes, offering glimpses of the mysterious and maddening and magnificent experiences that connect us.

January 2014

A Brief History Of The Sun

The first issue of The Sun came out in January 1974. The war in Vietnam was winding down, and Richard M. Nixon would soon resign the presidency. It was also the height of the energy crisis. The OPEC oil cartel had raised prices, resulting in lines at gas stations and debates about reducing dependence on Middle Eastern oil. So when Sy Safransky and coeditor Mike Mathers were deciding on a topic for the first issue of their new magazine, they chose “Energy.”

January 2004
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