The American Prospect is a quarterly American political magazine dedicated to American liberalism and progressivism. Based in Washington, D.C., The American Prospect says it aims "to advance liberal and progressive goals through reporting, analysis, and debate about today’s realities and tomorrow’s possibilities."
The magazine was founded in 1990 (and initially called The Liberal Prospect) by Robert Kuttner, Robert Reich, and Paul Starr as a response to the perceived ascendancy of conservatism in the 1980s.
The American Prospect has run a writing fellows program that offers young journalists the opportunity to spend two years at the magazine, blogging as well as contributing to the print magazine. Past fellows have included Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein, Chris Mooney, Joshua Marshall, Dana Goldstein, and Kate Sheppard. Former staff writers and contributors include Gabriel Arana, Steve Erickson, and Harold Meyerson.
In March 2010, The American Prospect entered into an affiliation with the Demos, a public policy research and advocacy center based in New York City. The official affiliation ended in 2012.
In 2010, The American Prospect was the recipient of Utne Reader magazine's Utne Independent Press Award for Political Coverage.
In 2012, the magazine nearly folded due to financial struggles. It was able to raise enough money to stay afloat.
In 2014, the magazine re-purposed itself as a "quarterly journal of ideas." Kit Rachlis announced he was leaving the editorship of the magazine, senior writer Monica Potts and editor Bob Moser were laid off, and several other editorial staffers left the publication.
The magazine also undertook a project to connect progressive organizations through its Moving Ideas Network (www.movingideas.org), originally called the Electronic Policy Network, where staff wrote policy statements, advocacy actions, and reports from the late 1990s through 2006 when the project was "adopted" by Care2. The network was absorbed into Care2's Frogloop and general operations.
Originally The American Prospect published quarterly, then bimonthly. In 2000, thanks to a grant from the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, it became biweekly. Financial and logistical difficulties ensued, and the magazine moved to a 10-issue-per-year format in spring 2003 and a bimonthly format in summer 2012. The online version of the magazine formerly included an active blog called TAPPED (derived from TAP, the acronym of The American Prospect), as well as a blog by Adam Serwer. Facing financial issues, the magazine reduced its bi-monthly publication scheduled to a quarterly publication schedule in 2014.
Notable contributors to the magazine and blog have included Michelle Goldberg, Harold Meyerson, Robert Kuttner and Matt Yglesias. Past contributors include Jonathan Chait, Jonathan Cohn, Joshua Green, Joshua Micah Marshall, Jedediah Purdy, Chris Mooney, Matthew Yglesias, Michael Massing, Joe Conason, Michael Tomasky, Ezra Klein, and Scott Stossel. Executive editors have included Michael Tomasky, Harold Meyerson, Mark Schmitt, and Kit Rachlis.