Magazine article The American Conservative

Kidnapping Kirkpatrick

Magazine article The American Conservative

Kidnapping Kirkpatrick

Article excerpt

[NEOCONS]

The Weekly Standard's Feb. 5 cover story, an unfinished account of Dr. Jeane Kirkpatrick's "American girlhood" written by Peter Collier, is nothing short of strange. Certainly Kirkpatrick's Feb.6 memorial service at the National Cathedral deserved mention, as did the publication in late January of her new book on American foreign policy post-9/11. But the narrative of her quotidian childhood is surely not the stuff of cover stories-unless, of course, the American people have rejected your brand of conservatism and you hope to win them back by appropriating the legacy of one of America's best-known Cold War heroes.

Kirkpatrick's story suits the Standard well: bookish Southern Baptist girl rises from humble Middle-American beginnings to international prominence by helping craft the aggressive foreign policy that brought down the Evil Empire. But her usefulness to the magazine ends there.

In the late 1980s and early '90s, Kirkpatrick joined a chorus of neoconservatives-including Irving Kristol-who, in response to the crumbling of communism, promoted a more modest American foreign policy. …

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