To the Editors:

Somebody once asked me for a definition of “paleoconservative,” a term occasionally used in right-wing political circles. I said I didn’t know what it meant exactly, but I offered a definition based on what I had witnessed: “A paleoconservative is a conservative who’s been mugged by a neoconservative.”

That exchange has come to mind as I’ve watched the concerted and apparently endless attack on Diana West and her Cold War book, American Betrayal. Ms. West isn’t a self-identified “paleoconservative” in any sense that I’m aware of, and doesn’t qualify for the title anyway, because it mostly pertains to an older generation. She is, however, certainly...


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