Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea

Overview

The most comprehensive selection of Mr. Kristol's influential writings on politics and economics, and the best of his now-famous essays on society, religion, culture, literature, education, and--above all--the values issues that have come to define the neoconservative critique of contemporary life. Often persuasive and very wise. --Andrew Sullivan, New York Times Book Review

Here are the best of Kristol's now famous essays on society, religion, morals, culture, ...

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Overview

The most comprehensive selection of Mr. Kristol's influential writings on politics and economics, and the best of his now-famous essays on society, religion, culture, literature, education, and--above all--the values issues that have come to define the neoconservative critique of contemporary life. Often persuasive and very wise. --Andrew Sullivan, New York Times Book Review

Here are the best of Kristol's now famous essays on society, religion, morals, culture, literature, education, and on the values issues which have come to define the neoconservative critique of contemporary life. These essays display the provocative ideas and style that have caused Irving Kristol to be justly regarded as the "godfather" of the conservative movement.

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Editorial Reviews

Andrew Sullivan
Often persuasive, and very wise. . . . From the beginning, Mr. Kristol's writing has exhibited a wealth of common sense and understated wit. This book is full of both.
James Nuechterlein
Mr. Kristol possesses a genius for making his sophisticated and nuanced arguments appear the commonplaces of everyman. . . . He has thought and written with admirable clarity, honesty, and courage.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This hefty collection of some 40 articles and essays written since the 1950s represents a kind of summation for neocon doyen Kristol, editor of the Public Interest. Particularly interesting is his previously unpublished opening memoir concerning influences such as Lionel Trilling, Leo Strauss and army life as well as the founding of his magazine and his work with the American Enterprise Institute to extend conservatism beyond free enterprise to reflect ``on the roots of social and cultural stability.'' The articles are a varied lot. Some denigrate such topics as multiculturalism and the ``consumers' protection movement'' or declare that the 1960s counterculture was essentially unprovoked. More compelling essays reflect on the ``true purposes'' of the American Revolution, the 1960s growth of the ``new class'' and the ``perverse consequences'' of Great Society programs that ignored universal applicability. Kristol also includes several essays on Jews in America and on the country's latter-day shift to conservatism. (Sept.)
Gilbert Taylor
Until the Great Society a mainstream liberal, Kristol has since been a highly recognized conservative of the "neo"-prefix. Perhaps he stuck out because of apostasy or as one of the few right-wingers in New York's literati set; more likely it was that his articles, about 40 collected here, made him the standard bearer of Democrats alienated by their party's post-1968 travails. Some pieces analyze political trends and interest groups from that time to the present, while others partake of religio-philosophical topics about which Kristol has written since his early magazine days in the late 1940s. Then, and more strongly as decades passed and the social fabric became ever coarser, some manifestation of the public's moral fiber (welfare or AIDS) and the interaction between the intellectual classes have been Kristol's chief concerns, along with the intellectuals' adversarial attitudes about capitalism or moral judgments about personal behavior. A social philosopher with the acute insight that thought worthy of the name must heed, Kristol and his chrestomathy will engage fan and foe alike.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780028740218
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 9/20/1995
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Kristol was editor of The Public Interest and publisher of The National Interest.
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Table of Contents

Preface
1 An Autobiographical Memoir 3
2 Welfare: The Best of Intentions, the Worst of Results 43
3 The Tragedy of "Multiculturalism" 50
4 Reflections on Love and Family 54
5 Men, Women, and Sex 58
6 AIDS and False Innocence 63
7 Life Without Father 67
8 American Intellectuals and Foreign Policy 75
9 Capitalism, Socialism, and Nihilism 92
10 The Adversary Culture of Intellectuals 106
11 The Cultural Revolution and the Capitalist Future 123
12 Countercultures 136
13 Machiavelli and the Profanation of Politics 151
14 About Equality 165
15 The Frustrations of Affluence 179
16 Utopianism, Ancient and Modern 184
17 Social Reform: Gains and Losses 200
18 Business and the "New Class" 205
19 Corporate Capitalism in America 211
20 On Conservatism and Capitalism 230
21 The American Revolution as a Successful Revolution 235
22 What Is "Social Justice?" 253
23 Adam Smith and the Spirit of Capitalism 258
24 Socialism: An Obituary for an Idea 300
25 American Historians and the Democratic Idea 313
26 Urban Civilization and Its Discontents 328
27 The Republican Future 344
28 "The Stupid Party" 349
29 The Emergence of Two Republican Parties 354
30 The New Populism: Not to Worry 359
31 The Coming "Conservative Century" 364
32 The New Face of American Politics 369
33 America's "Exceptional Conservatism" 373
34 God and the Psychoanalysts 389
35 Einstein: The Passion of Pure Reason 405
36 Is Jewish Humor Dead? 420
37 Christianity, Judaism, and Socialism 429
38 The Future of American Jewry 442
39 Memoirs of a "Cold Warrior" 457
40 Memoirs of a Trotskyist 469
41 My Cold War 481
Index of Names 487
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