Oct 13, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 05 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
In 2011, James Ceaser reviewed in these pages a posthumous collection of Irving Kristol’s essays, The Neoconservative Persuasion. Ceaser was particularly struck by how interested Irving Kristol had been in religion:
Religion is the most important theme running through this collection, the focus of more essays than any other topic. Irving Kristol was not just a Jewish intellectual, but an intellectual who wrote about Jews, Judaism, and the Jewish Problem (Jews in relation to Christianity). . . . Kristol’s early essays on Judaism, written in the shadow of the Holocaust, contain some remarkable reflections on the long history of Jewish-Christian relations from the Middle Ages. His most original contribution, however, comes in his treatment of American Jews. . . . Jews, by his account, have failed in thinking through clearly their own situation and determining how best to navigate some of the challenges they now face.
The Scrapbook agrees—as always!—with Ceaser, and is therefore very pleased to report that Kristol’s essays on Jews and Judaism have now been collected and published as an ebook, edited by Gertrude Himmelfarb, who has provided a fine introduction. The ebook is available for your iPad and iPhone via Apple’s iBooks app, and on Kindle and the Kindle app via Amazon. Visit mosaicmagazine.com/books for more information.
As our distinguished contributing editor Charles Krauthammer writes, this collection of “deep and subtle theological writings . . . brilliantly illuminates the deepest layers of Kristol’s thinking about God and man. A revelation—and an education.” So order, read, and enjoy.
Notes toward a new economicsAug 5, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 44 • By GEORGE GILDER
Why in the world do we need yet another “new” economics? Jamming the libraries and the bookstores of the world are avatars of what must be every variation on the great themes of market and managerial economics. Scores of Nobel Prizes have been awarded for various nugatory refinements of the prevailing ideas.
Dec 31, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 16 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
"There were giants in the earth in those days.” The death on December 19 of Robert Bork—superb legal scholar, preeminent constitutional thinker, principled public servant—calls to mind the other giants of American conservatism who have left us in the last decade: Bill Buckley and Irving Kristol, Milton Friedman and James Q. Wilson, Richard John Neuhaus and Jeane Kirkpatrick, Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. They were the greatest conservative generation.
4:42 PM, Mar 8, 2011 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
THE SCRAPBOOK is pleased to note two fine reviews of the new collection of Irving Kristol’s essays, The Neoconservative Persuasion, reviewed in our pages a month ago by James Ceaser.
3:30 PM, Feb 25, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In his posthumous collection of essays, The Neoconservative Persuasion, Irving Kristol offers reflections into political and social issues that still hound us today. Take this passage, from his 1974 essay "Republican Virtue versus Servile Institutions," which, with a few changes in the specifics, could have been written last week:
7:42 AM, Jan 26, 2011 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
Daniel Bell, the original co-editor of The Public Interest with Irving Kristol, died yesterday at his home in Cambridge.
A polymath and autodidact, Bell was famous for his description of "the cultural contradictions of capitalism." While associated with Kristol, Nathan Glazer, and the other anti-Stalinist Trotskyites of City College's famous Alcove One, Bell denied being a "neoconservative" and remained a democratic socialist (and aesthetic/cultural conservative) throughout his life.
You can read Bell's essays for the Public Interest at the archive maintained by National Affairs.
Watch David Brooks and the boss discuss Irving Kristol's "The Neoconservative Persuasion" on C-Span.9:26 AM, Jan 21, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Must viewing this weekend: On C-Span's "After Words" series, Bill Kristol, who wrote the foreword to The Neoconservative Persuasion, the new collection of his late father's essays, discusses those essays and Irving Kristol's thought in general with David Brooks.
Some unexpected appreciation for a marginalized school of economics.9:56 AM, Apr 7, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
Martin Wolf asks his readers their opinion of the Austrian school of economics (whose most famous adherent in this country is Ron Paul):
I think we can say that conventional neo-classical equilibrium economics did a poor job in predicting the crisis and in suggesting what should be done in response. We can also say that neo-Keynesians pointed out some important precursors of the crisis, in particular, the destabilising role of huge private sector financial deficits in countries with large external deficits, such as the US, and the Keynesian view certainly played a big part in the post-crisis response, as did that of Milton Friedman.
Yet some would argue that economists working in the Austrian tradition were more nearly right than anybody else. In particular, they have argued that: inflation-targeting is inherently destabilising; that fractional reserve banking creates unmanageable credit booms; and that the resulting global “malinvestment” explains the subsequent financial crash. I have sympathy with this point of view. But Austrians also say - as their predecessors said in the 1930s - that the right response is to let everything rotten be liquidated, while continuing to balance the budget as the economy implodes. I find this unconvincing. Mass bankruptcy is extremely costly. Moreover, it is impossible to separate what is healthy from what is unhealthy during a general economic collapse triggered by an implosion of the financial system.
This isn't an endorsement by any means -- but it's interesting to see the Austrians get some credit from one of the most famous economic journalists in the world. (Be sure to read the comments following Wolf's post for a fascinating discussion.)
What are yours?3:14 PM, Mar 19, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
No matter how this weekend's vote turns out, we're going to need to take a break from health care reform. Like government spending, health care has crowded out the market for political discussion. Glance at the news, and you would have no way of knowing that other things are happening.
They still don't get him.3:41 PM, Mar 2, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
In yesterday's Financial Times, Gideon Rachman writes that Ronald Reagan "debased" traditional conservatism because
Traditional conservatives disdain populism and respect knowledge. They believe in balancing the government’s books. And they are pragmatists who are suspicious of ideology.
Reagan, in Rachman's view, propagated the "cult of the idiot savant (the wise fool)," took the GOP away from "fiscal responsibility" by embracing tax cuts, and encouraged the idea that "a successful foreign policy is a rigid distinction between good and evil, and a strong military." Reagan may have been "a successful president," Rachman admits, but he "left behind a poisonous legacy for the conservative movement." Liberal bugbear Sarah Palin is the consequence.
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