Oddly, the changing seasons of my political life have been marked by Jeane Kirkpatrick (see “Full Circle With Jeane,” below). I tell the broader story of my move across the political spectrum in a book due out shortly called, Why I Turned Right: Leading Baby Boom Conservatives Chronicle Their Political Journeys. National Review’s fearless leader, Rich Lowry, tells his story there, and so do Peter Berkowitz, Joseph Bottum, David Brooks, Danielle Crittenden, Dinesh D’Souza, Tod Lindberg, Heather Mac Donald, P. J. O’Rourke, Sally Satel, and Richard Starr. (JPod makes an honorary appearance in one of the essays.) Mary Eberstadt edits and introduces the book, and tells a bit of her political conversion narrative as well. (Although the book isn’t out yet, you can pre-order it from Amazon.)
I’ll give a more detailed preview of Why I Turned Right when it’s published in February. But I recently got a manuscript copy, and must admit that I’ve been slightly obsessed with this book. Maybe it’s an inside baseball sort of thing, but I’ve been jumping-out-of-my-skin curious to read the political conversion stories of these folks–some of them friends, but all of them heroes of a sort, for me. The sheer abject fan-dom of it all has got me reading, re-reading, and re-re-reading these stories when I really ought to be moving on to other things. Why I Turned Right is definitely fun, and very easy to move through, yet also deep in its way. That’s because you can find all sort of fascinating patterns–similarities and differences–as you run through these stories of political transformation. In a difficult time for conservatives, this book has got my spirits soaring.