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Reflections of a Neoconservative: Looking Back, Looking Ahead Hardcover – October 1, 1983


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; First Edition edition (October 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465068723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465068722
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,502,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matt Walker on April 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is the first book I've read by Irving Kristol, and I was not disappointed. The essays that make up this volume give the reader an inside look at how the "neoconservative persuasion" developed. Kristol is dead on in his assessments of socialism and liberalism, and I enjoyed each and every essay, although I had to read some of them multiple times to let it all sink in.

If you have any interest in the neconservative persuasion, who better to learn from than the Godfather, himself? If you have an interest in conservative politics, I highly recommend you add this book to your home library.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've always wondered exactly what the term, "neoconservative" means. Irving Kristol should know, because he apparently defined, and certainly exemplified the idea.

In this book I think I got the answer. A neoconservative is basically a "compassionate conservative", or as another author put it, "a neoclassical libertarian".

What each of these essentiall synonymous terms convey is a basic economic conservatism, a-la-Economics in one lesson, without the superimposed theocracy and racism often associated with the unqualified term, "conservative".

So I guess I'm a "neoconservative", too.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andres C. Salama on December 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
I was given this as a present by my father when I was 15. This collection of essays by Kristol, from the late 1940s to the mid 1980s, made quite an impression on me, and turn me into a conservative at a time when many young people tend to drift toward left-wing ideas (though perhaps this was not so true during the 1980s). Anyhow, it is only now, twenty years later that I have become some sort of recovering conservative. Kristol, who was a Trotskyst in his youth but then become one of the chief ideologues of the neoconservatives, have some very sound ideas on domestic policies for the US (the negative aspects the welfare state can bring on the work ethic, the nefarious effects of pornography, the problem of urban crime). It is only on foreign policy that neocons totally lost it. Because many of them were Jewish, they wanted basically the US to became an empire, thinking this could best protect Israel. But, really, isn't a multilateral system of power the best hope for Israel? It is true that the UN has many times criticized Israel, but it is also true that its recognition in 1948 gave it its legitimacy. And what are the dangers of putting all your eggs in one basket, if your protecting superpower wents into decline (as they are already some indications)? These are difficult issues. But these aside, this is a good book, even if now that I'm in my late thirties I saw many flaws and non sequiturs in many of Kristol's opinions.
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