Bob Tyrrell is the longtime editor of the conservative magazine The American Spectator. He recounts how he came to appreciate Norman Mailer and eventually develop an amiable acquaintance with him:
I, at first, did not share [Malcolm] Muggeridge’s esteem for Norman. In fact, when I first read Norman in the 1960s and early 1970s, I rather hated him. But as life went on I came to Muggeridge’s side. Norman was a genuine literary talent without being precious. He could write a very clean sentence and pack it with fireworks. When he was not snarling — and he snarled less frequently as time went on — he was good company, always interesting, and occasionally even right. He was gutsy, energetic, playful, and devoted to telling a good story and telling it well. Moreover, I liked many of the same things he liked: competitive athletics, books, politics, the American scene. Indicative of his independent streak was his opposition to feminism, which for a New York liberal could lead to exile. Indicative of his left-wing bent, he obsessed over “the corporation,” and furnished his obsession with the usual left-wing ghosts and goblins.