From Matthew Price’s review of Alfred Kazin’s diaries in Bookforum:
Cook questions Kazin’s liberal anti-communism—the Soviet Union appalled him—but Kazin would savagely rebuke the neoconservatives. He went to town on the snobbish Mr. Sammler’s Planet in the New York Review of Books, calling it a “normal political novel of our day, didactic to a fault.” (Bellow accused Kazin of slander: “You were saying that its author was a wickedly deluded lunatic.”) After an evening with Irving Kristol and other ex-leftists in 1969, Kazin bitterly ruminated in his journal: “They are all such specialists, such knowers on a limited scale, such professors impaled on their own bitterness. They have to be right . . . the world can go to hell, but they are right.” Kazin despised people who knew that they knew; he often knew that he didn’t know.