THE MAGAZINE READER. Is the age of small magazines once again upon us? And has Washington become America's new intellectual center? Washington certainly is looking like the new Boston this week, with the launch of The Democratic Strategist, an online journal, and the aforementioned journal Democracy. Indeed, the city looks, in particular, to be entering an era of intellectual ferment on the left (and center-left) the likes of which it has not seen in some time. Small political magazines used to spring from the minds of New Yorkers and residents of the other big, liberal metropoles, and while today such cities produce magazines like n+1 and The Believer, it's been some time since they produced any new innovative political journals. Meanwhile, The Prospect, born in Boston, has become ensconsed in the District, and the much-larger Boston-bred Atlantic magazine has turned D.C. into its new, congenial home. Like The Atlantic, The New Republic is under new leadership. Another newcomer, The American Interest, was launched in the District last fall to examine America's place in the world. From such collections of people are eras made.