“Godfather of neoconservatism”

BARRY GEWEN “Irving Kristol, Godfather of Conservatism, Dies” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/19/us/politics/19kristol.html


Mr. Kristol’s weapon of choice was the biting polemical essay of ideas, a form he mastered as part of the famed circle of writers and critics known as the New York Intellectuals, among them the ferocious literary brawlers Mary McCarthy and Dwight Macdonald. Mr. Kristol once described feeling intimidated at a cocktail party when he was seated with Ms. McCarthy on one side, Hannah Arendt on the other and Diana Trilling across from him.

But neoconservatism turned quite literally into a family affair for Mr. Kristol. His wife, Gertrude Himmelfarb, a distinguished historian of 19th-century England, wrote books and articles critical of modern permissiveness and urged a return to Victorian values. His son, William, who had been Vice President Dan Quayle’s chief of staff, became a leading spokesman for neoconservatism in his own right as a television commentator, the editor of The Weekly Standard and briefly a columnist for The New York Times. Friends referred to them as America’s first family of neoconservatism.