Podcast: John Podhoretz on Midge Decter’s Life in Ideas

Image for Podcast: John Podhoretz on Midge Decter’s Life in Ideas

Press play below to listen to the podcast, download it in the iTunes Store, or stream it via Stitcher.

On May 9, the cultural commentator Midge Decter passed away. Author of essays and books, editor of magazines, and mentor to generations of writers, Decter was subtle, clear, and courageous in her thinking. Though a member of the Democratic party for most of her life, Decter was an anti-Communist liberal who gradually became more conservative over time, eventually becoming, along with her husband, Norman Podhoretz, a leading neoconservative.

On this week’s podcast, her son, John Podhoretz, the editor of Commentary, joins us to reflect on her life. He recently published a eulogy for her in which he wondered what in her background could explain her style, force, and view of the world. Decter wasn’t born into a family of ideas and argument, yet that was where she made her indelible mark. In conversation with Mosaic Editor Jonathan Silver, Podhoretz thinks about his late mother’s life and work.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

More podcasts: