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Norman Podhoretz – Reflections of a Jewish Neoconservative

July 14, 2014

As part of the advanced institute on “Liberalism, Conservatism, and the Jews,” Tikvah hosted the legendary editor of Commentary, Norman Podhoretz. Podhoretz has been a partisan of the left, the right, and, most of all, the Jews. In an interview with Tikvah’s executive director Eric Cohen, Podhoretz discussed his life’s work and his ideological transformation. He reflects on his early education and the conflict between his low-brow immigrant Judaism and his high-brow training under Lionel Trilling. He discusses the early days of Commentary, when it was ambivalent about Zionism and part of the anti-communist left. He explains what turned Commentary away from the left, and what kind of foreign policy vision it offered the nascent neoconservative movement. And what about Podhoretz himself? Famously frank and wide-ranging, Podhoretz spends the last half of the event commenting on theology, the American Jewish scene, Radical Islam, classical music, and Shakespeare.

Filming took place on May 19, 2014.

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More about: America, Israel, and the Middle East  • Jewish Political Thought  • The American Jewish Experience  • Zionism