David Brooks and the Sidney Awards by American Litterateur

David Brooks has an exalted notion of himself as thinker and arbiter of public taste, and public morals. Now, that statement is hardly news but he makes concrete that self- appointed status in his Sidney Awards. Named after Sidney Hook, the Cold Warrior and former Left Wing thinker who preached the gospel of the moral/political bankruptcy of his former comrades, as reason for depriving them of their constitutional right to free expression and participation in the life of the Republic. All this under the rubric of accusations of disloyalty and subversion of that very state; aided and abetted by fellow travelers Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and Reinhold Niebuhr. All neatly rationalized under the banner of manufactured Cold War hysteria, a perfect fit with the political philosophy and self-concept of America's paterfamilias, Mr. Brooks. I would not seek to judge his selections as either good or bad, but would caution any reader to consider the source of the recommendations of these winning essays, as reflective of a certain set of prejudices, of uncongenial predispositions, to understate the case. The links are below:



American Litterateur

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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