Best known for his 24 years in the Senate, Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927 – 2003) was a major figure in the political history of the United States in the second half of the twentieth century. In this Conversation, political scientist Greg Weiner, author of a fine intellectual biography of Moynihan, reviews Moynihan’s political career and his approach to political and social problems. In his rejection of extremism, his defense of proceduralism in government, and his willingness to use good social science while also seeing its limits, Moynihan’s example has much to teach us today. Kristol and Weiner also consider the extent to which Moynihan benefited from the political thought of Edmund Burke, and why Burke remains highly relevant to our times.
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