Podcast / The Time of Monsters / May 26, 2024

Marty Peretz and the Neoliberal Reckoning

On this episode of The Time of Monsters, David Klion on the legacy of the former New Republic publisher.

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Marty Peretz And The Neoliberal Reckoning | The Time of Monsters with Jeet Heer
byThe Nation Magazine

On this episode of The Time of Monsters, David Klion on the legacy of the former New Republic publisher.

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Martin Peretz in his magazine office.

(Bettmann / Getty Images)

Marty Peretz has led a large life, one he recounts with aplomb in his autobiography, The Controversialist. As publisher and editor-in-chief of The New Republic from 1974 to 2012, he transformed the venerable liberal magazine into an organ of neoliberalism, with a politics that emphasized deregulation of the economy, scaling back the welfare state, militant Zionism, and an aggressive foreign policy (leading the magazine to support the disastrous Iraq War in 2003). Coupled with the magazine, Peretz used his second wife’s vast fortune to create an political network that extended to many nodes of elite power: Harvard, Wall Street and even the White House (Vice President Al Gore was Peretz’s protégé).

I wrote about Peretz’s life and also the large-scale damage done by his politics in a recent review of his memoir. Frequent guest of the show David Klion, who wrote about the memoir for The Baffler, joined the The Time of Monsters for a spirited discussion of a memorable life. Also relevant to this discussion is David’s review of Liberties, a magazine founded by Peretz’s longtime crony Leon Wieseltier.

The Time of Monsters with Jeet Heer
The Time of Monsters with Jeet Heer

The Time of Monsters podcast features Nation national-affairs correspondent Jeet Heer’s signature blend of political culture and cultural politics. Each week, he’ll host in-depth conversations with urgent voices on the most pressing issues of our time.

Joe Biden’s Muddled Middle East Policy
byThe Nation Company LLC

Joe Biden has often been described as among the most pro-Israel politicians in America, a characterization which has a large element of truth but misses some important nuances. As David Klion argues in a deeply researched essayfor The Nation, Biden’s support for Israel has long been accompanied by rhetorical gestures indicating opposition to aspects of Israel’s policies, particularly the building of settlements. How do we make sense of this disjunction between action and rhetoric? Is Biden simply trying to placate his liberal base with cheap words? Or is his fundamental thinking on the topic incoherence to his worldview. 

David joins the podcast to talk about Biden’s Israel policy, which leads into a wide-ranging discussion of the internal contradictions of Cold War liberalism and Biden’s larger policy thinking.

In addition to David’s piece, we talk about topics that address this by Jonathan Guyer in The American Prospect and Noah Landar in Mother Jones.

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Jeet Heer

Jeet Heer is a national affairs correspondent for The Nation and host of the weekly Nation podcast, The Time of Monsters. He also pens the monthly column “Morbid Symptoms.” The author of In Love with Art: Francoise Mouly’s Adventures in Comics with Art Spiegelman (2013) and Sweet Lechery: Reviews, Essays and Profiles (2014), Heer has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The American Prospect, The GuardianThe New Republic, and The Boston Globe.

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