Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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The Battle over Ideas: Conversation with Norman Podhoretz, former editor of Commentary; 4/6/99 by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Archival images are courtesy of Mr. Podhoretz.

Welcome to a Conversation with History, I am Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Norman Podhoretz. For thirty five years as editor of Commentary magazine, Norman Podhoretz has had a profound influence on the ideas that shaped public debate in the United States. He is the author of seven books, including Making It, Breaking Ranks, and Ex-Friends, all of which chronicle his life and times as a writer, literary critic, commentator, and editor.

  1. Background ... formative years in Brooklyn ... impact of Jewish heritage ... resilience of ethnicity
  2. The Art of Writing ... a gift and a curse ... finding a voice ... coherence in writing ... personal experience and the battle of ideas ... Making It and worship of the "bitch goddess"
  3. On the Battlefield of Ideas ... Breaking Ranks ... importance of the Family ... Ex-Friends ... turn to the left ... turn to the right ... finding his voice ... courage and conviction
  4. Editor ... the work of an editor ... influence ... the rise of neoconservatism ... the role of ideas ... lessons learned

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