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Title: 'Is it good for the Jews?' : Jewish intellectuals and the formative years of neoconservatism, 1945-1980
Author: Janssen, Nadja A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 5585
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis re-evaluates the emergence of the neoconservative critique of American post-war liberalism from 1945 to 1980. Its original contribution to the scholarship on neoconservatism lies in the claim that a particular understanding of Jewishness fundamentally shaped the neoconservatives' right turn, as well as neoconservative ideology. Few scholars have recognised the primacy of Jewish identity politics in the evolutionary history of neoconservatism. Those who have, have done so inadequately and unmethodically. Therefore, my thesis systematically analyses the Jewish dimension of early neoconservatism by placing particular focus on its two principal mouthpieces, Commentary and The Public Interest, while drawing on autobiographical writings, personal papers and oral interviews. Reconsidering neoconservatism from this angle also contributes to a reevaluation of modern Jewish political history by debunking the myth that the American Jewish community is governed by consensus based on political identification with liberalism. My thesis shows that neoconservatism not only contributed to the rise of conservatism and the fall of liberalism on a national level, but also played an important role in post-1945 Jewish intra-communal contentions about which political affiliation best expresses modern Jewish American identity. Accordingly, it demonstrates that Jewish political culture is more diverse than is usually appreciated and that neoconservatives draw on a tradition of Jewish conservatism, which has so far received little attention from scholars of modern Jewish history.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HT Communities. Classes. Races ; JK Political institutions (United States) ; JA Political science (General)