Life lessons from Pat Moynihan

In writing the first volume of The Age of Reagan, covering the period 1964-1980, Steve Hayward had an inspired idea. He decided to tell the liberal’s side of the story partly from the perspective of Daniel Patrick Moynihan — “the thinking man’s liberal” — whose career spanned the entire period in view. It is one of many great things about the book.

Moynihan’s heroic moment came in his brief representation of the United States at the United Nations with his opposition to the UN’s — the Soviet Union’s — odious “Zionism is racism” resolution. Moynihan told the story in his memoir A Dangerous Place, with the assistance of Suzanne Weaver (now Suzanne Garment), his special assistant at the UN. (Sadly, I note that Moynihan’s book is out of print. My copy is a collector’s item.) Gil Troy now revisits the story in Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight Against Zionism as Racism.

One more book that should be mentioned in this context is John Bolton’s Surrender Is Not An Option. At pages 40-43 Bolton recalls his successful work in the administration of the first President Bush to overturn the resolution. Thank you, President Bush and Ambassador Bolton.

Garment is now the executive editor of Jewish Ideas Daily and was herself a participant in the story Troy has to tell as well as a source. Troy’s book provides the occasion for Suzanne Garment’s wonderful Jewish Review of Books essay “With words we govern men.” I recommend it to your attention.

UPDATE: You may also want to check out this terrific Amazon video on Troy’s book.

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