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The Neoconservatives: The Men Who Are Changing America's Politics Paperback – September 30, 1980

3 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (September 30, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671413848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671413842
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,360,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Once upon a time the term "neoconservative" was applied to people like Daniel Bell, Nathan Glazer, Irving Kristol, Edward C. Banfield, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Robert Solow, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and Michael Novak. It's hard to associate this group with the likes of Richard Perle and David Frum, authors of *An End to Evil*; whereas the latter string together a parody of pop bromides, the former had impressive intellectual credentials.

Steinfels uses a definition of neoconservatives that is now fairly out of date. Partly this is because what began as little more than a genre of political thought in the 1950's was not yet unified by thinktank politics. He does not mention the philosopher Leo Strauss once, although there is something of a legend that neoconservatives are apostles of him; nor does he mention Albert Wohlstetter. That's because the neoconservatives were not yet openly linked with military planners or philosophers like Harlan Ullman or Robert Kagan.

Also surprising is the relative dearth of former Trotskyists like Max Shachtman or Jeane Kirkpatrick; neither is discussed. Irving Kristol and Nathan Glazer are, but only in a "how about that?" sort of way, or without comment. This is possibly a good thing, since Strauss' extremely odious philosophy is not terribly necessary for understanding the gist of the neoconservative outlook. They are certainly compatible, but since neoconservative polemics is more a slosh of literary cant than a coherent philosophy anyway, this is not as important as it appears to some.
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