The obituary of Mr. Conquest is the perfect opportunity for Old Cold War Nostalgia that dovetails quite nicely with the New Cold War and Putin as the New Stalin! No surprise here! The crimes of Stalin and his western apologists on the Left are well documented, yet that self-imposed ideologically driven blindness wasn’t really broken until the publication of The Gulag Archipelago in the West in 1973. The Nouveaux Philosophes of Bernard-Henri Levy and his Barbarism with a Human Face are the political issues of that publication. The Left can’t be absolved of that willful ignorance fueled by ideological lock step. But even the Neo-Cons like Irving Kristol were guilty of that same crime, as were many others, in their radical youth.
On the question of literary criticism, one wonders where Mr. Conquest was, when one of the greatest practitioners of that art was V.S. Pritchett, or were his politics of the wrong school? His Complete Collected Essays prove his staying power as critic and stylist.
Mr. Michael Weiss attempted an obituary at The Daily Beast, that didn’t quite have the polish and depth that this essay demonstrates: Oxbridgers demonstrate that polish and literary sophistication, with a kind of confident ease, that only money and status can buy!