Running Commentary

Running Commentary : The Contentious Magazine That Transformed the Jewish Left into the Neoconservative Right

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In the years of cultural and political ferment following World War II, a new generation of Jewish- American writers and thinkers arose to make an indelible mark on American culture. Commentary was their magazine; the place where they and other politically sympathetic intellectualsHannah Arendt, Saul Bellow, Lionel Trilling, Alfred Kazin, James Baldwin, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick and many othersshared new work, explored ideas, and argued with each other. Founded by the offspring of immigrants, Commentary began life as a voice for the marginalized and a feisty advocate for civil rights and economic justice. But just as American culture moved in its direction, it beganinexplicably to someto veer right, becoming the voice of neoconservativism and defender of the powerful. This lively history, based on unprecedented access to the magazines archives and dozens of original interviews, provocatively explains that shift while recreating the atmosphere of some of the most exciting decades in American intellectual more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 165.1 x 236.22 x 30.48mm | 566.99g
  • PublicAffairs,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • TBD
  • 1586487493
  • 9781586487492
  • 2,433,094

About Benjamin Balint

Benjamin Balint has written for the Wall Street Journal, the American Scholar, the Weekly Standard, Policy Review, Haaretz, the Forward, the Claremont Review of Books, and Commentary, where he served as an editor from 2001 to 2004. Originally from Seattle, he earned a master's degree in philosophy at the University of Washington. Balint is currently a fellow at the Hudson more

Review quote

Journal of American History, January 2011 "This will be the standard history of Commentary for many years and a model of how to write the history of an intellectual journal." Shofar, Summer 2011"An exceptionally well written book that describes with enthusiasm the major transformation identified in the subtitle. It is a thoughtful analysis of American intellectual and ideological history from the 1920s to 2009.... Balint's thoroughly researched book is an example of very solid American intellectual history. But it is more: it provides real insights into the nature of post-World War II American political history.... An especially interesting and important intellectual history, Benjamin Balint's Running Commentary is highly recommended." n+1, October 6, 2011"Former Commentary editor Benjamin Balint's admiring but not hagiographic history of the magazine, Running Commentary, helps shed light on [the neoconservative] trajectory, which was more a story of continuity than of change...One of the virtues of Balint's account is that it punctures the widespread enthrallment with Podhoretz... Balint complicates the standard left-to-right account of the magazine's trajectory by showing how central hawkish anti-Communism was to it from the beginning."show more

Rating details

14 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 43% (6)
4 36% (5)
3 14% (2)
2 7% (1)
1 0% (0)
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