Inside the Red Border

A new coffee-table book celebrates TIME's extraordinary legacy of art, photography and writing over the past 87 years

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Vaughn Wallace for TIME

TIME's iconic red border symbolizes a bold, even arrogant idea. Everything inside that red border is worth knowing, and whatever is outside of it, well, not so much. That idea contains a concept that is even more essential today than it was when we first proposed it 87 years ago. In a time of information overload, we understand that information needs editing, voices need moderating, data need curating. Every week in the magazine and every day at TIME.com we convert information into knowledge through careful thinking, writing, reporting and arresting images. Separating the crucial from the trivial is the core idea that has always animated TIME.

Rizzoli has just published a beautiful 432-page coffee-table book called TIME: The Illustrated History of the World's Most Influential Magazine. We don't quibble with the title. The book's authors, Norberto Angeletti and Alberto Oliva, spent six years doing research and have produced a book that is not only a stunning visual history of TIME but also a cultural history of the times we have lived in.

The book explores TIME's original mission, much of which is just as relevant today. We still aim to be broad and deep. The proliferation of information sources has made it possible for people to focus on specific nodes of information. That's fine. But TIME continues to believe that intelligent readers are interested in everything from politics to technology to art to religion. In all these areas, our goal remains to challenge prejudices and certainties, not reinforce them.

Part of TIME's original goal was to have a point of view. And there were times our views descended into the partisan. Today our point of view is to favor ideas that make sense, that challenge us to rethink customary ways of doing business — and we back up our views with knowledge, reporting and experience. While the Rizzoli book illuminates our history, the truth is, there are more people reading, looking at, watching and commenting on TIME content than ever before. More than 40 million people around the world interact with TIME every week — a number that includes 25 million readers, 18 million unique monthly visitors on TIME.com 2 million Twitter followers and 850,000 mobile users. We launched our beautiful iPad app two months ago with extra pictures and video and stories, and there are new apps in the pipeline, as well as a regular iPad subscription.

Henry Luce, a co-founder of TIME, once said, "I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world." That remains TIME's mission. We aim to give you a front-row seat to the most important stories of our time and to tell you not just the what of the news but the how and the why too. We don't just cover the news — that's a commodity — we put it in context and explain its larger meaning; we're in the meaning business. TIME: The Illustrated History of the World's Most Influential Magazine meticulously documents how TIME has mirrored and shaped events and shows that we not only mark history; we make it too.

Richard Stengel, MANAGING EDITOR