Charles Peters, Founder of The Washington Monthly Magazine, Passes Away at 96


Charles Peters, founder and former editor of The Washington Monthly, a political magazine that challenged both left and right ideologies and influenced many policymakers and journalists in the nation’s capital, passed away on Thursday at his Washington home. He was 96 years old.

The news of his death was announced by The Washington Monthly, which said that Mr. Peters had been suffering from congestive heart failure for several years. Mr. Peters was known as the “godfather of neoliberalism,” the main policy doctrine of the magazine, which he edited from 1969 to 2001.

He also wrote five books on politics, government, and history, and a column, “Tilting at Windmills,” which offered his witty and insightful views on current affairs, from 1977 to 2014. His work was not very popular or accessible to the general public. But to the Washington insiders, his voice was significant in the city’s noise.

His neoliberalism invited liberals and conservatives to rethink their core beliefs and, if not to find a middle ground, at least to question their assumptions. When he started The Washington Monthly, Mr. Peters wanted a magazine that would also assess performance — Washington’s — by exposing the mistakes and shortcomings of politics and government, a task that many critics considered hopeless. He had a picture of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza on his office wall.

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