The NYRB was born in 1963, during a city-wide newspaper strike in New York. Silvers told the Chronicle:
"'We felt you had to have a political analysis of the nature of power in America - who had it, who was affected," he recalled. "It's hard to sum up a paper. We published thousands of articles of many kinds. But the current running through from the beginning was - here we were, editors of this paper in New York. We had control. We could do whatever we wanted, if we could pay the printer.' By the third year, they were in the black.
"'It struck us that in so many parts of the world - under the Shah or under Brezhnev - people could be punished for publishing what they believed,' Silvers said. In response, the Review has continuously published in-depth interviews with political dissidents, including Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Andrei Sakharov and Vaclav Havel."