A shift in conversation

A SHIFT IN CONVERSATION…. Over at TPM Cafe, Jim Sleeper has a thought-provoking piece.

Two events this month suggest a transition from one conversation about the American republic to another.

The old conversation — often little better than a shouting match or a dance of snarky repartees — is petering out with the passing, at 89, of Irving Kristol, the “godfather” of neo-conservatism.

A different conversation is renewing itself in a voice coming from the center of the old republic, thanks to Nicholas Thompson’s gripping, stirring new book, The Hawk and the Dove. Writing about the half-century-long rivalry and friendship of arms-race “hawk” Paul Nitze and Cold War strategic “dove” George Kennan, Thompson shows that even bitter antagonists can remain friends if they care more about the civic-republican spirit that is the secret of this country’s true strength than they do about themselves or their grand strategies.

Jim’s thoughts on Thompson’s book dovetail nicely with Gregg Herken’s review of The Hawk and the Dove in the new issue of the Monthly.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation