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The Rev. Jerry Falwell, who died this week at age 73, was one of those figures who constantly attract the media’s scorn. It comes with the territory when you’re either a biblical literalist, a political conservative, or someone not shy about taking a sword to liberalism’s sacred cows. Falwell fit all those categories, making him a three-time loser to journalists whose taste in religious leaders runs more along the lines of a Desmond Tutu or a William Sloane Coffin.
Rearranging the bookshelves the other day, the Monitor came across a volume published in 1999 titled A Passion for Truth. The book is a collection of columns by the late Eric Breindel, whose death in 1998 at the shockingly young age of 42 deprived the nation of one of its most articulate conservative polemicists.
Milton Himmelfarb died earlier this month at age 87, and chances are you never heard of him if, like most Americans, you tend not to be a devotee of intellectual and political journals. But Milton Himmelfarb — Mendy, as he was known to his family — was, by virtue of temperament, history and family, a seminal figure in the development of neoconservatism as one of the country’s most influential political forces.