The Commentary Man
Greenberg, David, Moment
Norman Podhoretz: A Biography
By Thomas L. Jeffers Cambridge University Press 2010, $35.00, pp. 408
Running Commentary. The Contentious Magazine That Transformed the Jewish Left Into the Neoconservative Right
By Benjamin Balint Public Affairs 2010, $26.95, pp. 290
As quarrelsome as they were prolific, as brittle as they were brilliant, the circle known as New York Intellectuals of the mid-20th century has enjoyed a disproportionate number of historical studies. First came the paeans, then the attacks, and more recently the full--scale treatments of stellar individuals from their ranks: Dwight Macdonald, Irving Howe, Richard Hofstadter.
The newest member of the so-called "family" to rate a biography is Norman Podhoretz, the hyper--confident former editor of Commentary, who in the 1960s and 1970s made the American Jewish Committee's once thoughtfully provocative periodical into a must-read for an emergent cadre of political cognoscenti sharply critical of the established order. Podhoretz's significance to recent history is indisputable. With the exception of William F. Buckley, no intellectual journalist on the right mattered more over the last half century. No writer better embodied the midlife conversion to conservatism of a notable minority of American Jews. No editor better gave voice to the scathing critiques of liberal thinking about race, sex and culture that emerged from the 1960s,
Norman Podhoretz: A Biography by Thomas …
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Publication information: Article title: The Commentary Man. Contributors: Greenberg, David - Author. Magazine title: Moment. Volume: 35. Issue: 5 Publication date: September-October 2010. Page number: 84+. © 2009 Moment Magazine. COPYRIGHT 2010 Gale Group.
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