Books: Little Norman

MAKING IT by Norman Podhoretz. 360 pages. Random House. $6.95.

In most outward respects, Norman Podhoretz, the 38-year-old literary critic, social commentator and editor of the highbrow monthly Commentary, fits a familiar pattern. Brainy son of Jewish European immigrants, his ambition fired by memories of a boyhood spent in the Brooklyn slums, he worked his way up from smartest kid in the class to a position of influence and prestige in New York intellectual circles.

Those circles, though, do not seem big enough to contain Podhoretz' ferocious and expanding ambition. Making It is his official...

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