Over at The Smart Set, Paula Marantz Cohen wrote a terrific piece about how one negative book review — written by Norman Mailer — changed the course of a friendship and a career.
If the personal is political, as the ’60s activists used to say, the political is, even more, inherently personal. When a smart, highly sensitive man like [Norman] Podhoretz is dramatically misread by most everyone he respects, when his dearest friend makes a laughing stock of him in print, is it surprising that he would be driven to separate himself socially and politically from everything such people stand for?
Can negative book reviews inspire a person, eventually, to become a horrific apologist for one of the dumbest wars in American history? You'll have to read Cohen's piece to find out.