Matthew Continetti, "The Theological Politics of Irving Kristol," National Affairs, Summer, 2014.
The February 13, 1979, issue of Esquire magazine did not feature a typical cover model. He was not an actor, a politician, or a sports star. A professor but not a Ph.D., an editor but much more than a journalist, Irving Kristol thought of himself, he told Esquire, as a “man of letters.”
That may have been too limiting a description. Kristol was part of a tradition that sought not only to understand the world, but to change it. He was at the center of the small but influential movement known as neoconservatism — an idea, Esquire proclaimed, “whose time is now.” Irving Kristol was the “godfather” of the neoconservatives, Esquire asserted, a leader of the disillusioned social scientists and intellectuals whose drift rightward in the 1960s and 1970s resulted in supply-side economics, the broken-windows theory of policing, the rejection of détente, and other innovations in economic, social, and foreign policy. What neoconservatism was — and is — and Kristol’s relation to it, has been a subject of intense interest ever since.