Norman Podhoretz is a thinker and writer and polemicist, a geopolitician and student of religious ideas, an autobiographer of genius, a man who reacts sharply to the news as it pours from the press and the airwaves, who thinks deeply, angrily, and sincerely about it, and commits his thoughts into vivid and penetrative argument. So writes the eminent British historian Paul Johnson in his introduction to this indispensable collection of Norman Podhoretz's essays of the past fifty years. Organized by decade, these essays, fascinating in themselves, also add up to a running history of American literature and intellectual life in the second half of the twentieth century. From Vladimir Nabokov to Saul Bellow, from Ralph Ellison to Norman Mailer, from Hannah Arendt to Henry Kissinger, Podhoretz has dealt with the most important novelists and thinkers of the period. He has also turned his attention to such major European figures as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, George Orwell, and Isaiah Berlin, and his trenchant appraisals of both Americans and Europeans are as fresh and lively today as when they first appeared. Many of them have been unavailable for years, and will prove revelatory for first-time readers and longtime admirers alike.