Our Purpose

Are books and reviews really relevant in twenty-first century America?


This is not an easy question to ask -- for where would any of us be without literature and reliable commentary on it? Nonetheless, it is undeniable that less people read books, and presumably care to read reviews, than at any other time in modern history.

The San Francisco Review of Books is geared toward a world where information gets shared in seconds rather than minutes, let alone months. While we share the name of the magazine which came before us, today's SFRB is independent of it. Launched on January 20, 2017 as a blog about literature, societal happenings, and historical tidbits, among other things, the rebooted Review is quite unlike publications of the past. Each day -- including weekends -- we publish several articles, the majority of which are reviews.

We also run commentary and exclusive interviews, the latter of which best find a home on Cotto/Gottfried, our weekly current events program. Whether in text or via video, the SFRB's mission to reasonably address oft-controversial ideas means a wide variety of views are presented.

Considering our era of waning literary interest, sound-bite discourse, and growing resistance to diverse perspectives, the need for a publication like the SFRB is immense. We are proud to provide an outlet where informed individuals can vigorously advocate their views – whether these concern literature, politics, or other important matters -- especially when disagreements are had.

Indeed, we have no ambition to be a ‘safe space,’ but a smart one. 

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