Midge Decter

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Midge Decter
Midge Rosenthal

(1927-07-25) July 25, 1927 (age 94)
OccupationJournalist, author, writer
(m. 1956)

Midge Rosenthal Decter (born July 25, 1927)[1] is an American journalist and author.[2][3][4][5][6]

Life and career[edit]

Decter was born into a Jewish family in Saint Paul, Minnesota.[7] She is the daughter of Rose (née Calmenson) and Harry Rosenthal, a sporting goods merchant.[8][9] She attended the University of Minnesota, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and New York University, but did not graduate from any of them.

She was Assistant Editor at Midstream, then the secretary to the then-editor of Commentary, Robert Warshow.[2] Later she was the executive editor of Harper's under Willie Morris.[2] She then began working in publishing as an editor at Basic Books and Legacy Books.[2] Her writing has been published in Commentary, First Things, The Atlantic, National Review, The New Republic, The Weekly Standard, and the American Spectator.[2][3][10]

Together with Donald Rumsfeld, Decter is the former co-chair of the Committee for the Free World and one of the original champions of the neoconservative movement with her spouse, Norman Podhoretz.[3] She is also a founder of the Independent Women's Forum, and was founding treasurer for the Northcote Parkinson Fund, founded and chaired by John Train. She is a member of the board of trustees for the Heritage Foundation.[4] She is also a board member of the Center for Security Policy and the Clare Boothe Luce Fund.[3] She is also a member of the Philadelphia Society and she was, for a time, its president.[11] Following a tongue-in-cheek remark by Russell Kirk, the Society's founder, about the prevalence of Jewish intellectuals in the neo-conservative movement, Decter labelled Kirk an anti-Semite.[12] She is also a senior fellow at the Institute of Religion and Public Life.[2] She is one of the signatories to Statement of Principles for the Project for the New American Century.[13] Decter serves on the national advisory board of Accuracy in Media.[14] In 2008, Midge Decter received the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.[15]

She is the mother of conservative columnists Ruthie Blum and John Podhoretz, children of Norman Podhoretz. She is also the mother, by her first marriage, of Rachel Decter (1951–2013), who married Elliott Abrams in 1980.


  • Losing the First Battle, Winning the War
  • The Liberated Woman and Other Americans (1970)
  • The New Chastity and Other Arguments Against Women's Liberation (1972)
  • Liberal Parents, Radical Children (1975)
  • An Old Wife's Tale: My Seven Decades in Love and War (2001)
  • Always Right: Selected Writings of Midge Decter (2002)
  • Rumsfeld : A Personal Portrait (2003)


  1. ^ "The Encyclopedia of Jewish Women: Midge Decter". Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Midge Decter". The Philadelphia Society. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d "Midge Decter". HarperCollins US. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Heritage Foundation Board of Trustees Archived March 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Gallagher, Dorothy (September 16, 2001). "No U-Turns". Retrieved April 12, 2018 – via NYTimes.com.
  6. ^ "Converts Podhoretz & Decter Didn't Get a Job from Reagan, but Don't Knock a Blurb". Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  7. ^ Swain, Carol (2003). Contemporary voices of white nationalism in America. Cambridge, UK New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 81. ISBN 978-0521016933. Note: this quote is from the authors' introductory essay, not from the interviews.
  8. ^ Hyman, Paula; Moore, Deborah Dash; Weisbard, Phyllis Holman; Society, American Jewish Historical (January 1, 1998). "Jewish Women in America: A-L". Routledge. Retrieved April 12, 2018 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Current Biography Yearbook. H. W. Wilson Company. April 12, 1982. Retrieved April 12, 2018 – via Internet Archive. Midge Rosenthal Decter.
  10. ^ American Spectator webpage Archived November 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 23, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Conservative Minder" "The Weekly Standard" Retrieved 2019-04-15
  13. ^ "New American Century Statement of Principles". Archived from the original on February 5, 2005. Retrieved June 6, 2007.
  14. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Accuracy in Media. Retrieved June 10, 2012.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]