Kristol’s Red Persuasion?

Robert Lekachman, "Kristol's Red Persuasion?" The Nation, October 29, 1983. (A review of Reflections of a Neoconservative: Looking Back, Looking Ahead by Irving Kristol.)


In sum, at their worst these polemics are diatribes against the world supposedly made by liberals and those to the left of them. At their best, they convey much thoughtful, somber insight into the origins and consequences of capitalist materialism. As a polemicist, in other words, Kristol is as nasty as ever to low intellectual and moral types like members of The Nation family. He is lovably true to the persona we have enjoyed hating over the decades. However, when the man forgets just who his friends and enemies are, he echoes opinions amazingly like those familiar to this journal’s readers. Buried beneath his vulpine neoconservative intellectual garments beats — perhaps faintly and certainly irregularly — a startlingly enlightened heart. I hope that Irving Kristol will forgive my saying these unexpectedly cheerful words.

The Nation