Commentary magazine's impact on American life, letters, and politics
Commentary in American Life
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edited by Murray Friedman
Founded by the American Jewish Committee in 1945 as a monthly journal of "significant thought and opinion, Jewish affairs and contemporary issues," Commentary magazine has through the years had a far-reaching impact on American politics and culture. Commentary in American Life traces this influence over time, especially in creating the neoconservative movement. The authors of each chapter also consider the ways the magazine shaped and reflected major cultural and literary trends in the United States. The end result offers a full accounting of one of the most important journals of American political thought, providing insight into the development of American collective politics and culture over the last six decades.
"This collection is interesting and well researched, making a substantial contribution to the literature on American Jewish studies and neoconservatism. But this book is about the legacy of Commentary, not neoconservatism per se. Murray Friedman has organized this collection very carefully, and has included some excellent contributions. Commentary in American Life would be worthy of the magazine."
"[T]his volume...provides an illuminating assessment of Commentary magazine...the growing scholarly and memoir literature on American conservatism and neo-conservatism has been significantly enhanced by this collection."
"[T]his collection is not without value. It is fascinating, for instance, to learn of how close Commentary and National Review have become in recent years... Likewise, it is interesting to be reminded how adamantly Commentary has endorsed the aims and strategies of the right-wing evangelical movement in the U.S."
"The major attribute of the entire presentation is its vigorous commendation for the significance of the magazine."
Introduction: Commentary: The First Sixty Years Murray Friedman
Contributors: Nathan Abrams, Birbeck College; John Ehrman; Nathan Glazer, Harvard University; Thomas L. Jeffers, Marquette University; George H. Nash; Richard Gid Powers, College of Staten Island and the CUNY Graduate Center; Fred Siegel, The Cooper Union; Terry Teachout; Ruth R. Wisse, Harvard University; and the editor.