Born in Brooklyn in 1930, Norman Podhoretz was raised the son of Jewish immigrants. He joined a gang and said that in the 1940s he learned never to back down in a fight. As a young man, he took that hard-nosed will, matched it with a towering intellect, and quickly became one of America’s most influential public thinkers.
He started liberal, turned early 60s radical, and then broke ranks with the country’s liberal intelligentsia to become a founding intellectual force behind the American neoconservatism. The world view he described in fierce, fine, virile prose over decades as editor of Commentary magazine is now the worldview many Americans inhabit, not least in George W. Bush’s Washington. “Clarity is courage,” he wrote. It also turns out to be extremely persuasive.
Click the “Listen” link to hear a conversation with Norman Podhoretz, one of the founding fathers of American neoconservatism.
Norman Podhoretz, editor-at-large for Commentary Magazine. His new anthology is “The Norman Podhoretz Reader.”