Norman Podhoretz approaches the prophets of the Hebrew Bible with all the care that scholarship can bring to the project. But his purpose in the end is to administer a jolt—to bring out the challenge that classical prophecy would pose against the orthodoxies of our own day. Those new orthodoxies have commanded their deepest allegiance among the political class that rules now in the academy and the media, in the schools of law and the courts. That the outlook of this class has come to be seen as so intertwined with “modernity” is not to establish the futility of classical prophecy or the irrelevance of what the prophets had to teach. It may only confirm that the ancient vices of idolatry have taken a shape more suited to our own times. When they are recognized in their various modern guises they may seem tame in their familiarity, but Podhoretz urges us to take seriously the notion that they hold for us, today as in the...


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