Robert Warshow on the New Yorker in Partisan Review (“Melancholy to the End,” vol. 14, no. 1, 1947):
The New Yorker at its best provides the intelligent and cultured college graduate with the most comfortable and least compromising attitude he can assume toward capitalist society without being forced into actual conflict. It rejects the vulgarity and inhumanity of the public world of politics and business and provincial morality, and it sets up in opposition to this a private and pseudo-aristocratic world of good humor, intelligence, and good taste. Its good taste has always been questionable, to be sure, but the vulgarity of the New Yorker is at least more subdued and less persistent than the ordinary vulgarity of journalism.
The New Yorker has always dealt with experience not by trying to understand it but by prescribing the attitude to be adopted toward it. This makes it possible to feel intelligent without thinking, and it is a way of making everything tolerable, for the assumption of a suitable attitude toward experience can give one the illusion of having dealt with it adequately.