Discussing the inaugural issue of Social Text, John Brenkman, Stanley Aronowitz, and Anders Stephanson emphasize the quality of the articles in terms of theoretical sophistication and the versatility of genres and questions tackled. The first issue aimed at making a political intervention and, through the selection of essays, put forward the idea that for a socially critical mode of theory and thinking, reflection on mass culture was as important as reflection on literature and art.

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