It stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.
— William F. Buckley, National Review

With those words, William F. Buckley published the first issue of the National Review on November 19, 1955. The magazine that would grow to become conservatism’s leading intellectual voice started as an amalgamation of varied perspectives that was not expected to have much of an impact or following. Buckley, irate at a media culture he saw as too narrow in thought, pulled no punches when criticizing fellow writers, politicians, or the country. With a sharp wit and knack for creativity, Buckley, in publishing his magazine, fundamentally altered the destiny of our country. It is not hyperbole to say that without Buckley and the National Review, there would have been no Barry Goldwater, no Ronald Reagan, and no modern conservatism.

While we can only dream of that level of success, we do take it as inspiration. Some of our greatest intellectual heroes—Buckley, Kristol, and Podhoretz—sought to make their mark on the world by way of starting magazines. We aspire to their example with Athwart, making it our mission to make conservatism intellectually sound and politically palatable.

We believe that in today’s world, it is ever more important to stand athwart the so-called progress. As the world ceaselessly marches forward in politics, culture, and thought, we are here to yell Stop and push back against change for its own sake.

In our colleges and communities, we are out of place. Our ideas and opinions rejected as such, given the extremism considered in place—filled with unchallenged and unquestioned assumptions. This is what we are fighting against. You might call us conservatives, apologists, radicals, reactionaries, or boors; we call ourselves  Athwart.

- Bradley Davis and Nicholas S. Whitaker