Max Boot debunks some of the common misconceptions on the subject in his contribution to Irwin Stelzer's anthology, Neo-conservativism. My copy arrived in the post this morning. I couldn't help noticing that one of the blurbs on the back cover comes from that well known right-wing plotter, Gordon Brown MP.

Here's Boot on the Curtis-esque notion that the Straussians are at the root of it all:

"This portrayal is a crude caricature of a group that believes American values are worth defending at home and abroad. That conviction was, in fact, the view of Strauss himself. A largely apolitical Professor of Classics at the University of Chicago who died in 1973, Strausss was a refugee from Nazi Germany who saw the evils of totalitarianism at first hand. He did not propose - as neo-con bashers charge - that a privileged few should run society while deceiving everyone else about their intentions. He was a firm believer in US democracy, which, he thought, needed to be defended by a well-educated elite, lest it go the way of the Weimar Republic. Strauss's views inspired some early neo-cons; few read him today, contrary to all the articles asserting that (as the French weekly magazine Le Nouvel Observateur put it) Strauss is the neo-cons' 'mentor'."

UPDATE: I'd expected Suzanne Moore to trample all over the book in her New Statesman review, but it turns out to be a thoughtful piece, apart from the silly crack about neon-con belief in American values being "quite as unshakeable as the faith of any jihadist". Unlike most British pundits, Moore seems willing to judge the ideas on their merits.

|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2004/10/meanwhile-heres-someone-who-actually.html|||10/28/2004 01:17:00 pm|||||||||