Part of Podhoretz's self-proclaimed courage was his breaking with the radicals by the end of the l960s. It was then that Podhoretz stood brave and tall against what he calls the radical "terror." But when he gets down to it, what he means by terror is, for instance, the fact that Norman Mailer of course a great and good friend after telling Podhoretz that he would write a favorable review of Making It, for Partisan Review, actually blasted the book. What are we to make of a man whose concept of "terror" is getting a bad write-up in Partisan Review? To Podhoretz, this shift in Mailer’s attitude conclusively demonstrates the radical terror at work. Mailer’s own explanation for his change of mind on rereading the book is brusquely dismissed; not even considered is the even more likely explanation that Mailer was simply being polite to Podhoretz in the first place.
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