The second generation brains have clearly all gone to Ruthie Blum. Just sayin.
"Podhoretz had always been more naked in his desire for success than was fashionable, but his practice had been to atone for that gaucheness with an extra helping of guilt and self-consciousness. Now he began to wonder if he’d had it backward all along. Maybe the problem wasn’t the ambition, or people’s labors to realize it. After all, most of the people he really admired were pretty ambitious."
"The problem was the hangover of guilt and embarrassment everyone seemed to feel they owed the cosmos. What good did that do anyone? It didn’t seem to change how anyone behaved. It just got in the way of their being honest about it. The more Podhoretz ruminated, the more the pattern of his thoughts began to remind him of the internal ferment he’d felt a few times before, when his brain was preparing to write the essays and reviews of which he’d ultimately been proudest.
"There was some bullshit out there in the world that needed to be called out, and maybe he was the person to do it."