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Ralph de Toledano (born Tangiers, Morocco, August 14, 1916 – died Bethesda, Maryland, February 3, 2007) was a major figure in the conservative movement in the United States throughout the second half of the 20th century.



A Sephardic Jew born in Morocco to parents who were American citizens, he came to New York as a teenager to attend the Juilliard School. He had played the violin from the age of 5. His interests quickly shifted from music to politics, however, as he became involved in the Socialist Party of America and became youth leader of the avowedly anticommunist "old guard" faction led by Louis Waldman. After the old guard left the party in 1934, Toledano became editor of their magazine, The New Leader. He graduated from Columbia University in 1938.

Pursuing a career in journalism, Toledano was for almost 20 years on the editorial board of Newsweek, and was among the founders of National Review in 1955. His differences with his conservative colleagues became very pronounced before long, first in 1960 when Toledano dissented from the other National Review editors in endorsing Richard Nixon over Barry Goldwater.

Years later when Nixon became president, Toledano was particularly close to the administration, in a rivalry with Daniel Patrick Moynihan over the privilege of being named guru of Nixon's domestic policies, which conservatives both supporting and opposing them characterized as a kind of Tory socialism. Moynihan's victory in this struggle was likely a key moment in the rise of neoconservatism.

Never straying far from his first passion of music, Toledano has also distinguished himself as an avid scholar of jazz. During the latter half of his long career at National Review, he was relegated to writing a music review column, on account of his growing variance with the direction of American conservatism. He also wrote about music a good deal for The American Conservative during his last years.

Toledano held forth until the end of his life at the National Press Club, where in 2005 he succeeded John Cosgrove as National Press Club American Legion Post No. 20 commander.

Toledano's last book, Cry Havoc: The Great American Bring-down and How It Happened was published in 2006, shortly before his 90th birthday. National Review founder, William F. Buckley, Jr. said about it: Cry Havoc! is must reading ... writing at Ralph de Toledano's best, which focuses on the historical and the contemporary, casting a sharp light on the players and the events of our deeply troubled times. Professor Paul Gottfried wrote that that Toledano uncovers continuities between the Frankfurt School's conspiracy and the rampant cultural terrorism in America.

Ralph de Toledano died February 3, 2007, aged 90.

Toward the end of his life, he labeled himself a libertarian, his son Paul Toledano said in a Feb. 10 memorial article in the New York Times.





  • Frontiers of Jazz (New York: O. Durrell, 1947)
  • Seeds of Treason (with Victor Lasky) (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1950)
  • Spies, Dupes, and Diplomats (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1952)
  • Nixon (New York: Holt, 1956)
  • Lament for a Generation (New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1960)
  • The Winning side, the Case for Goldwater Republicanism (New York: Putnam, 1963)
  • The Greatest Plot in History (New York; Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1963)
  • RFK, the Man Who Would Be President (New York: Putnam, 1967)
  • One Man Alone (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1969)
  • J. Edgar Hoover (New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1973)
  • Let Our Cities Burn (New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1975)
  • Hit and Run (New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1975)
  • The Apocrypha of Limbo (Gretna, LA: Pelican, 1994)
  • Notes from the Underground (Washington: Regnery, 1997)


Day of Reckoning (New York: Holt, 1955) Devil Take Him (New York: Putnam, 1979)


Poems, You and I (Gretna, LA: Pelican, 1978)

External links


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