Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The More Things Change ...

From Peter Beinart's review of Podhoretz's new book in last Sunday's Times:

The most astonishing part of “World War IV” is Podhoretz’s incessant use of violent imagery to describe American politics. Critics of the Iraq war represent a “domestic insurgency” with a “life-and-death stake” in America’s defeat. And their dispute with the president’s supporters represents “a war of ideas on the home front.” “In its own way,” Podhoretz declares, “this war of ideas is no less bloody than the one being fought by our troops in the Middle East.”

No less bloody? That’s good to know. Next time I talk to my sister-in-law, an emergency medicine doctor serving at Camp Taji, north of Baghdad, I’ll tell her we have it just as rough here at home. Norman Podhoretz is practically dodging I.E.D.’s on his way to Zabar’s.

From the late Murray Rothbard's 1979 review of Podhoretz's book Breaking Ranks:

Part of Podhoretz’s self-proclaimed courage was his breaking with the radicals by the end of the l960s. It was then that Podhoretz stood brave and tall against what he calls the radical "terror." But when he gets down to it, what he means by terror is, for instance, the fact that Norman Mailer – of course a great and good friend – after telling Podhoretz that he would write a favorable review of Making It, for Partisan Review, actually blasted the book. What are we to make of a man whose concept of "terror" is getting a bad write-up in Partisan Review? To Podhoretz, this shift in Mailer’s attitude conclusively demonstrates the radical terror at work. Mailer’s own explanation for his change of mind on rereading the book is brusquely dismissed; not even considered is the even more likely explanation that Mailer was simply being polite to Podhoretz in the first place.

[h/t LR]

MORE: Podoretz recents run of greatest hits -- Bomb Iran edition.

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