My Love Affair with America: The Cautionary Tale of a Cheerful Conservative
AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
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AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
Titel: My Love Affair with America: The Cautionary ...
Verlag: Free Press, US
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included
Auflage: 1st Edition
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In this touching and delightful memoir, Norman Podhoretz charts the ups and downs of his lifelong love affair with his native land, and warns that to turn against America, from the Right no less than from the Left, is to fall into the rankest ingratitude. While telling the story of how he himself grew up to be a fervent patriot, one of this country's leading conservative thinkers urges his fellow conservatives to rediscover and reclaim their faith in America. A superb storyteller, Podhoretz takes us from his childhood as a working-class kid in Brooklyn during the Great Depression -- the son of Jewish immigrants singing Catholic hymns in a public school staffed by Irish spinsters and duking it out on the streets with his black and Italian classmates -- to his later education, his shifting political alliances, and his arrival at a happy personal and intellectual resolution. "My Love Affair with America" shows us a gentler and funnier Podhoretz than readers have seen before. At the same time, it presents a picture of someone eager to proclaim, against all comers, that America represents one of the high points in the history of human civilizations. In this powerful, elegantly written, and poignant cautionary tale, Podhoretz pleads with his fellow conservatives not to fall, as some have lately done, into their own special brand of anti-Americanism, as he reminds them of the disastrous consequences that followed the assault by the New Left against the United States in decades gone by. Warm in feeling and brilliantly perceptive, "My Love Affair with America" points the way back to a thoroughly unabashed love of country -- the kind of patriotism that has rarely been encounteredin recent years and that is as invigorating as it is inspiring.Review:
Norman Podhoretz has written several books that draw from his life story and recount his neoconservative migration from the political Left to the political Right (Breaking Ranks, Ex-Friends). What's striking about My Love Affair with America is how he describes both places as "uncomfortably similar": "It was because I could not stomach the terrible and untrue things [my left-wing friends in 1960s] were saying about this country that I wound up breaking with them.... But then, in the mid-1990s, there unexpectedly came an outburst of anti-Americanism even among some of the very conservatives" whom he had least expected to demonstrate it. (He has in mind, among other incidents, the semi-famous "First Things" debate collected in The End of Democracy?). Yet this book is not a dissection of political viewpoints: "Beyond being defended by a counterattack against its assailants and an exposure of their misrepresentations and slanders, America deserved to be glorified with a full throat and a whole heart." In a world that rewards intellectual cynicism and regards patriotism--such a basic human sentiment--as "the last refuge of scoundrels," this is a refreshing approach. Podhoretz loves America perhaps only the way members of immigrant families can: they, better than anybody else, understand what the alternatives are to life in the United States.
Podhoretz grew up in New York speaking Yiddish before English. He writes: "America, according to some who have preceded me in feeling much as I do about it, is 'God's country.' That is, as the pages that follow will attest, a judgment with which I have no inclination whatsoever to disagree." "My Love Affair with America" occasionally veers toward cliché, but only because patriotism is a shop-worn topic for "cheap politicians." Podhoretz knows when he's approaching the danger zone, and combines a wonderful writing style with an infective fondness for his subject matter to make this book rise far above the typical Fourth of July oration. Those familiar with Podhoretz's previous writings will find plenty of what they've come to expect--stories about growing up, tales of the New York intellectual world, and occasionally zinging comments. My Love Affair with America will particularly appeal to anybody whose spine has tingled during a rendition of "America the Beautiful." --John J. Miller
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