Irving_kristol_l

Noah Millman has a wonderful review of Irving Kristol's writings. A small sample:

So what are young conservativesor liberals or political agnosticswho read this book going to get out of it? What they will learn, and it is a terrible thing, is that the questions that we ask in our youthin our twentiesmay be the only ones we ever really ask. Kristol, from the very beginning, is asking himself only a handful of questions. Stalinism having been rejected as abhorrent, is there a coherent left? How can a democratic society be made virtuous? (He seems from the beginning to be more interested in this question than in how it may be made prosperous, or free, or equal.) And what did being Jewish mean to a man in the modern agegiven that it clearly did mean something to him, from the first, and given that fidelity either to Jewish tradition or to Jewish nationalism was not what it meant?

That is terrible enough: that we will spend the rest of our lives asking the same few questions from our twenties over and over. But if the bulk of the book is any indication, the greater risk is that we will think we have answered them.

It includes a useful section on what neoconservatism used to mean, and what it means today.

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