Jacob Heilbrunn

Conservative Jew?: Norman Podhoretz scrutinizes thousands of years of history in his account.

A Free Account of Liberal Jewish History

Norman Podhoretz, who was the editor of Commentary magazine for four decades, has caused a stir regularly with his essays and books. “Why Are Jews Liberals?” is no exception. Part historical lesson, part autobiography (the latter a genre that Podhoretz first explored in his riveting confessional, “Making It,” published in 1967 by Random House, which chronicled his lust to enter the New York intellectual establishment and resulted in his expulsion from it), Podhoretz’s latest sally takes direct aim at his brethren, expressing perplexity at, and castigating them for, their complacent attachment to liberalism and, by extension, the Democratic Party.