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The Autobiography of an Idea


Irving Kristol (View Bio)
Hardcover: The Free Press, 1995; Paperback: Ivan R. Dee, 1999.


Neoconservatism is the movement that has provided the intellectual foundation for the resurgence of American conservatism in our time. And if neoconservatism can be said to have a father or an architect, that person is Irving Kristol.

Neoconservatism is a comprehensive selection of Kristol's influential writings on politics and economics, as well as 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 neo-conservative critique of contemporary life.

These essays provide an unparalleled insight into the 50-year development of Kristol's social and political ideas, from an uneasy socialism tempered with religious orthodoxy, to a vigilant optimism about the future of the American experiment. Those already familiar with Kristol's work will especially enjoy the new autobiographical essay that introduces this volume; it is sprinkled with personal recollections about such luminaries as Lionel Trilling, Leo Strauss, Saul Bellow, Sidney Hook, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and historian Gertrude Himmelfarb (who is also Mrs. Kristol). Those relatively new to Kristol's writings will be treated to some of the most lucid, insightful, entertaining, and intellectually challenging essays of our time.

"To read his work is to refine one's political stance, whether pro or con. A valuable book, a pleasure to read." — Kirkus Reviews

"From the beginning, Kristol's writing has exhibited a wealth of common sense and understated wit. This book is full of both." — Andrew Sullivan, The New York Times Book Review

"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. " — Booklist

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