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Irving Kristol


There is so much to be said about Irving Kristol — his accomplishments, his capacious intellect, his personal generosity, his good humor and good sense — but somehow what always struck me about him was his profound and intense love of America. It leaps from every page of his immense body of work, it was always just below the surface of everything he did, and very often on the surface too. He was a model of what it means for an intellectual to be a patriot, and he did what every patriot strives to do: He strengthened his country, in good times and especially in bad.

Many who knew him far better than I did will have much more to say in his praise in the coming days, I’m sure. I got to know Irving only in what turned out to be the final decade of his life, and even in so short a time built up an immense debt, as so many young people have throughout his life: for his advice, his guidance, his judgment, and his example. He was a great man, and we were lucky to have him.