Irving Kristol – 1920–2009
Kristol once described himself as a “liberal mugged by reality.” He was managing editor of Commentary (1947–1952) and was active in other liberal political journals as well as book publishing before becoming professor of social thought at the New York University Graduate School of Business (1969– 1988). His political thought evolved during the 1960s into advocacy of a hawkish approach to the Cold War and a reduction of the welfare state. Most importantly, in contrast to earlier American conservatism, his neoconservative philosophy called for the active assertion of U.S. military power in foreign affairs. Neoconservatism has greatly influenced U.S. political policy, from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush, who, in July 2002, presented Kristol with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.