Books: Settling Old Scores

Norman Podhoretz's latest memoir shows why his former friends don't need any enemies

A friend of mine saw an ad for a restaurant that said, "We treat you like family." My friend remarked, "That bad, eh?"

The columnist Murray Kempton invented the term "the Family" to describe the New York intellectuals--a half-forgotten confraternity of writers and thinkers--clustered roughly around Partisan Review and Commentary. But it was Norman Podhoretz, in his young rooster's memoir, Making It (1968), who gave the term currency. In the Family (Philip Rahv, Mary McCarthy, Dwight Macdonald, Lionel and Diana Trilling, Irving Howe, Harold Rosenberg, Hannah Arendt and others), Podhoretz played a noisy, precocious younger brother, an irritant who would not...

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