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Articles pertaining to political and economic history.

Posted on in History

The Duchess Of Atholl: Nobility For Stalin

In the film version of George Orwell’s book Keep The Aspidistra Flying, the main character, a struggling writer, assumes correctly that because a benefactor of writers is wealthy, said benefactor is therefore a communist. This assumption was very much a reality in the upper class intellectual world of 1930s Britain. For it was not only the expensively educated like Stephen Spender and W.H. Auden–and on a more sinister level, Kim Philby–who were pro-Stalin, but also Nancy Cunard, the daughter of a shipping magnate. This zeitgeist was so pervasive, that this pampered faction had a titled conservative in their ranks; who,… Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Politics/World

Letter From England 1: Setting The Scene

I have been asked to write a weekly column on British politics. Since I am writing for a largely American readership, and since Americans mostly know little of what happens outside their own country, I think it would be best if I were to begin with a brief overview not only of what is happening here, but also of what has been happening for quite some time. David Cameron became Prime Minister in 2010 at the head of a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. The Conservatives had won more seats than any other party in the House of Commons, but fallen short… Keep Reading

Posted on in Culture/History

The Struggle To Publish Animal Farm

George Orwell’s devastating satire on Stalinism, Animal Farm remains even 72 years later, along with Nineteen Eighty-Four, the gold standard for totalitarian literature. But Orwell’s classic novel which established the phrase “Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others” nearly didn’t secure a publisher, who based their rejections not on the quality of the book, but because of its unwelcome politics. Written and submitted during the height of Soviet popularity in 1943-1945, who, as a war-time ally pushed Hitler all the way back to Berlin, the fable was rejected not only by pro-Stalinists and at least one KGB agent, but by… Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Politics

“The Necessary Murder”

Omitted from leftist narratives as to why those of their own defected to the anti-Communist side is how a single murder provoked the defection. Instead pro-Communists and “anti-anti-Communists” assign base motives to these supposedly mentally unstable drunks such as a desire for the latter to line their pockets and for a new appreciation of fascism. Ernest Hemingway, who sought a relationship with the Soviet secret police, used the greed argument against his one-time friend John Dos Passos for publicly accusing Communists during the Spanish Civil War of murdering Dos Passos’ friend, Jose Robles. Hemingway with help from the Soviet-directed loyalist… Keep Reading

Posted on in Culture/History

Advice On Learning Latin

Aside from my various books–more of which will come out this month and next–I get most of my living nowadays from teaching Greek and Latin. I do this as a private tutor, and sometimes as an informal staff member at various places of education. Because demand for my services in any one place is limited, there is no point in my becoming a formal member of staff. Instead, I go out to see students in their homes or in classrooms, or in university libraries, or sometimes I even hold court in the kitchen of my own house. I do the… Keep Reading

Posted on in History

On Our Soil: The Liquidation Of Juliet Poyntz

To this day, anti-anti-communists from the Cold War period and their tenured academic counterparts scoff at the idea that Soviet communists liquidated their American agents on US soil. While grudgingly admitting that Stalin did carry out wet work against those who dared to oppose him (I’ve heard professors actually defend it), they argue that such actions were exclusively conducted overseas–i.e, Leon Trotsky pickaxed in Mexico or the death-by-torture of loyalist soldier Bob Simile in Spain. But on at least one instance, Stalin used a Soviet assassination squad to undoubtedly kidnap and murder an American agent in New York City for… Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Politics/World

An Evening With Enoch Powell, 22nd November 1986

Note: This is an exact transcript from one of the handwritten volumes of my Diary. I have kept this, with occasional lapses, since I was fifteen. It currently runs to about five million words. Most entries are of no interest to anyone else. Many are a waste of paper and ink. Some are too shocking or embarrassing ever to be published. Here and there, nevertheless, are entries of actual value. This is one of them. SIG Saturday 22nd November 1986 No concert after all last night. Instead to Newham North East Conservative Club, to see Simon Pearce – and, much… Keep Reading

Posted on in Culture/History

Eastern European Jews And The Case Of The Marginalized Elite

The story of Eastern European Jews who immigrated to America in the beginning of the twentieth century is a story of “self-marginalization.” The more dramatically Eastern European Jews progress socio-economically, the more strenuously they identify with “marginalized groups” and seek to undermine the white Christian majority population. And though he takes care to guard against charges of being Politically Incorrect, David R. Verbeeten’s The Politics of Non-Assimilation: Three Generations of Eastern European Jews in the United States in the Twentieth Century is a goldmine of sociological evidence revealing this critically important phenomenon which so many scholars are happy to ignore. The… Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Politics

The Puerto Rican Compromise

On Jun. 11, Puerto Ricans voted for the second time to become a state of the union. Could this Caribbean island actually become the 51st state of America? Other authors have written at length about the political struggles within Puerto Rico as well as the island’s serious financial sickness. I will not repeat their capable analysis of those problems. Rather, I will consider the less talked about issue of the congressional balance of power. Puerto Rico has long been a progressive region featuring a population of twice as many Democrats as Republicans. Accordingly, it is reasonable to expect the 3.5… Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Politics/Religion

We Must Defeat Radical Islam

When radical Islamist 22-year-old Salman Abedi blew himself up at a pop music concert in Manchester, England, killing 22 and wounding 59, he did more than commit a terrorist attack – he once again demonstrated the insidious nature of violent, radical Islam manifested as jihad. The suicide bomber detonated himself at Manchester Arena late Monday as concertgoers streamed out following the end of Ariana Grande’s concert. While ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack – at least in terms of inspiration, if not direct operational support – what is important is the fact that someone who was born in Britain not… Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Politics

Sanctuary City Mayor Trashes An American Hero

Mayor Mike Signer—who had declared his intention to make Charlottesville, Virginia, the “capital of the resistance” to President Trump and a sanctuary city “to protect immigrants and refugees”—is refusing to protect a symbol saluting one of America’s greatest men. Yes, Robert E. Lee was a great American. If Signer knew the first thing about human valor, he’d know that there was no man more valorous and courageous than Robert E. Lee, whose “two uncles signed the Declaration of Independence and [whose] father was a notable cavalry officer in the War for Independence.” Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Philosophy/Politics

The Battle For Ideas Is Never Won

The battle for ideas is never won. Just because you win an election, it does not mean you get to rest on your laurels. Over the last couple of weeks, I have heard many conservatives complain that they think Congress has let them down. In the minds of conservatives, Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the White House. This makes it time for Republicans to actually fulfill their campaign promises and repeal the un-affordable Health Care Act (ObamaCare), build the wall, and reduce the size of government. Conservatives are making the same mistake that the United States military made… Keep Reading

Tripolitan War
Posted on in History/Politics

A Lesson From The Tripolitan War

In the west, people tend to have short memories. Typically this isn’t a problem because most lapses in memory tend to be centered around the mundane: Where you left your car keys, picking up the dry-cleaning, the date of your third cousin’s wedding to the Shriner who resembles Dwight Yoakam, only uglier – if you can imagine that. With any luck you’ll find your keys, get to the dry-cleaner, and, hopefully, you chose something more becoming to wear to the nuptial ceremony than a leisure suit. These things are easily understood and forgiven, if not completely relatable. The leisure suit…… Keep Reading

civil war
Posted on in History/Politics

The Civil War, Then And Now

One hundred and fifty-four years ago this week, nearly at the peak of the Civil War, General Robert E. Lee cemented his legacy in American history with his triumph over Union forces at the battle of Chancellorsville, a victory often referred to as a perfect battle. It is an example of how sangfroid and strategy and chutzpah and cunning have together the potential to overcome overwhelming odds. It was a disgraceful performance by the north’s General Joseph Hooker and it cost Lee his “right arm” in General Stonewall Jackson, who was killed by friendly fire on the second of May.… Keep Reading

oliver stone
Posted on in History/Politics

Oliver Stone Educates And Misleads

I recently had the opportunity to watch The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone and, as I’m sure was intended, it was a thought-provoking experience. It is for many reasons a masterpiece of documentary filmmaking. The research behind it left no stone unturned and the archival footage included in the ten-part series is awe-inspiring. It is well written and well narrated by Stone. It is thorough and informative and enlightens the viewer to the many unseemly aspects of governance in the greatest nation in the history of mankind. Less thorough and more friendly than Stone’s treatment of… Keep Reading

doctrine
Posted on in History/Politics

The Trump Doctrine Takes Shape

The concept of Presidential Doctrine dates back to when James Monroe adopted a posture of anti-European colonialism in the western hemisphere. Since that time many presidents have come and gone without leaving a signature stamp on the attitude and behavior of our nation vis a vis foreign policy though many have at most sought to merely modify pre-existing positions. Theodore Roosevelt took Monroe’s doctrine and mutated it into the Roosevelt Corollary which would later be reversed by his fifth cousin, Franklin Roosevelt who adopted a Good Neighbor policy toward those nations in the Central and South America. In relatively short… Keep Reading

Posted on in History

The Selective Pacifism Of Dalton Trumbo

Probably the most mocked of anti-Communist claims by anti-anti-Communists was that the American Communist Party of the 1930s and 40s was dedicated to the violent overthrow of the American government. Former Communist and blacklisted screenwriter Ring Lardner Jr. said that even though Communism had “taken a violent form in the Soviet Union” it did not mean the American Communist Party wanted to use the same Leninist methods of seizing the government. Rather, he asserted, the CPUSA sought to bring socialism about through democratic gradualism. But a generation later, in the 1960s, the New Left was committed to that very goal… Keep Reading

Posted on in History

HSCA At 40: Validating The Warren Commission

As the credits to his wildly-conspiratorial JFK (1991) rolled, Oliver Stone, to buttress his argument that Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy and not Lee Harvey Oswald, listed the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations’ conclusion that the president was indeed the victim of some group. But in reality, this Congressional investigation did not exonerate Oswald; indeed, the Committee validated the Warren Commission’s conclusion but with one caveat: that, in addition to Oswald’s shots from the School Book Depository, someone might have fired from the Grassy Knoll. But this addition was last-minute, and today, the evidence for a fourth… Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Politics

Duped Liberals : The 70th Anniversary Of The HUAC Hearings

Seventy years ago, liberals were duped by the “victims” they formed a group around to defend. In 1947, The Committee for The First Amendment was organized by liberal Hollywood in response to Congress subpoenaing ten members of the film community to answer questions about their Communist affiliations. Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Politics

Orwell: Not So Private With Ukrainians

By and large, British author George Orwell addressed his essays and novels to the English-speaking world. During the war, he wrote a “London Letter,” about the political situation in England, to the readers of the anti-Stalinist American journal, Partisan Review. Even his stint as a BBC broadcaster with programs designed for Indian consumption were to audiences who spoke English. But there was one instance in which Orwell wrote to a non-English-speaking audience, the Ukrainian readers of Animal Farm. Orwell wrote a preface to the Ukrainian edition that is remarkable in what he revealed about himself. Something about writing for a… Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Politics

The Old Left And The “Warmonger” Roosevelt

In the Vietnam era, when the “New Hollywood,” shorthand for sixties’ leftists taking charge of the movies, lionized the Old Left in films like The Way We Were and The Front, they did so with the script used by American Stalinists during the early days of the Cold War; that those blacklisted were merely innocent New Dealers in “a hurry,” who were unfortunately caught in a crunch when the political climate shifted from FDR liberalism to anti-New Deal rightism. An example of this was The Way We Were, a moist treatment of Hollywood Stalinists, and the vicious treatment afforded them… Keep Reading

Posted on in History

Did JFK Admire Hitler?

During his presidency, John F. Kennedy was accused by the far right of being a communist appeaser at best, a secret sympathizer at worst. Now, thanks to the release of his diaries from the 1930s, it may be more valid to accuse JFK of admiration of fascism, however youthful the passion. In a series of diary entries, the future president recorded complimentary references to Nazis during a 1937 visit to Nazi Germany. He found that fascism to be “the right thing for Germany,” and regarding its brutish features, he rhetorically stated, “what are the evils of fascism compared to communism?” Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Politics

John E Rankin: Equal Opportunity Racist

When his activist wife criticized FDR for not addressing the plight of blacks, the president always stated that to do so would lose him crucial Southern Congressional support for his New Deal measures. A perfect case in point for Roosevelt’s dilemma was personified by Congressman John E. Rankin of Mississippi. Rankin, who served for sixteen terms, from 1920-1952, was proof one could be both economically liberal and virulently racist; and his “Yellow Dog Democrat” constituency, who swore never to vote for Republicans because of Reconstruction, reflected both of Rankin’s political tendencies. Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Politics

Gary Cooper: Fairminded Conservative

When Lucille Ball was accused of being a Communist at the height of her fame in the 1950s, she pleaded contextual circumstances. She cited her pressure by her Party-line uncle, but also noted that “in those days it was considered shameful to be a Republican.” And indeed it was, even in Hollywood, which was presided over by rock-ribbed studio heads. To subscribe to any type of anti-New Deal conservatism in Hollywood was to invite charges of fascism from Hollywood reds, who were at the high tide of their influence in the 1930s, and especially during World War II. Keep Reading

Posted on in Culture/History

Hoover And Homosexuals: A Form Of Overcompensation?

The closeted Roy Cohn called him less a homosexual and more a “voyeur,” getting his jollies by listening the sex tapes of political leaders he acquired through FBI wiretaps. Oliver Stone disagreed, having him in his laughable Nixon (1995) practically french-kissing the help. The wife of a mobster provided information of him in drag in a hotel room with Cohn present: “[He was] wearing a fluffy black dress, very fluffy, with flounces, and lace stockings and high heels, and a black curly wig. He had make-up on and false eyelashes. It was a very short skirt, and he was sitting… Keep Reading

North Korea
Posted on in History/Politics/World

North Korea, A Desperate Foe With The Courage Of Despair

One of the most insightful observations made by Sun Tzu in his seminal masterwork, The Art of War, is the following: “When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.” Tu Mu was more specific in his elaboration on the point; the ancient Chinese poet said the enemy must be made to think “that there is a road to safety, and thus prevent his fighting with the courage of despair.” The beauty of Sun Tzu’s tome is in its timelessness; the succinct profundity of his proverbs is as relevant today as it… Keep Reading

Posted on in History

Africa BC/AC (Before And After Colonialism)

From their plush apartments, over groaning dinner tables, pseudo-intellectuals have the luxury of depicting squalor and sickness as idyllic, primordially peaceful and harmonious. After all, when the affluent relinquish their earthly possessions to return to the simple life, it is always with aid of sophisticated technology and the option to be air-lifted to a hospital if the need arises. Is there any wonder, then, that “the stereotype of colonial history” has been perpetuated by the relatively well-to-do intellectual elite? Theories of exploitation, Marxism for one, originated with Western intellectuals, not with African peasants. It is this clique alone that could… Keep Reading

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Edwin Walker: Ruined By Oswald

In one of those ironies history throws at us, Lee Harvey Oswald’s failed attempt on the life of the ultra-Rightist General Edwin Walker eight months before the Kennedy assassination ended Walker’s importance. Don Delillo caught Walker’s descent into mediocrity best in his JFK assassination novel, Libra. In the novel, one of the most bizarre suspects in the Kennedy assassination, the body-hairless, ultra-Rightist David Ferrie tells Oswald to forget about continuing his assassination attempts on Walker: “No one listens to Walker anymore. Your missed bullet finished him more surely than a clean hit. It left him hanging in the twilight. He… Keep Reading

Posted on in History

Otto Skorzeny: Nazi To The End

In the film Lawrence of Arabia (1962), a firm believer in the British Empire grudgingly compliments the decidedly anti-Colonial Lawrence on his military performance in capturing a previously impregnable Turkish port; it “doesn’t matter what his motives were; it was a brilliant bit of soldiering.” This phrase perfectly encapsulates the soldierly view of SS Special Forces leader Otto Skorzeny, although his motives were much more detestable than Lawrence’s – the former wanting to help the Arabs build their own government free of British control. By contrast, Skorzeny never gave up the Nazi dream, aiding in the escape of several SS… Keep Reading

Posted on in Culture/History/Politics

Orson Welles: Frustrating The Left

In The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987), Tom Wolfe’s British journalist uses his accent and his British sense of humor to cadge meals from his spellbound American colleagues. By the 1960s to 1980s, being a spellbinding conversationalist was all actor/director Orson Welles had left. Because of his excesses (relying on style rather than substance in his films; an almost self-destructive refusal to tailor his films for mass audiences not leaning to the avant-garde; self-destructively taking on studio heads) no studio would touch him. Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Politics

Vera Caspary: Leaving The Communist Fold

In the genre of film noir, the movie Laura (1944) looms large. In 1999, the Library of Congress chose the film for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant. The American Film Institute ranked Laura 73 on their 100 years…100 Thrills. As a film noir, it is ranked no. 4 on the best mysteries of all time. Despite the political orientation of its main stars, Dana Andrews (who was the lead in the radio series, I was a Communist for the FBI), and Gene Tierney (a Republican who campaigned for Nixon in… Keep Reading

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The Nixon Tapes: No Smoking Guns

As with the Kennedy assassination documents still “classified” under “national security,” pundits have long believed that the sealed Nixon Watergate tapes contain the answers to historical mysteries; chief among them the true motive for the Watergate burglaries; whether Nixon ordered executive actions against foreign leaders (Camelot pundits have long blamed Nixon, and not JFK, for constructing a Mafia/CIA nexus to kill Castro). But they’ve also sought ammunition to confirm their worst impressions of Nixon as a paranoid, insecure totalitarian. On what’s available they zeroed in on the potty mouth (the biggest surprise for my Republican parents), the anti-Semitism, the enemies… Keep Reading

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Mr. Smth: The Ultimate Libertarian

With its patriotism and lone-man-against-the-system theme, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939) is a popular favorite among conservatives. But, although directed by conservative populist Frank Capra, the script was in actuality penned by a then-member of the Communist Party named Sidney Buchman. It is difficult to believe in our era of flag-burning and bomb-throwing leftism that once upon a time American Communists promoted patriotism, which depending upon your point of view, was either authentic or a pose to meet the needs of Moscow. But Buchman may have been the real deal, as evidenced by his clashes with director Frank Capra… Keep Reading

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Groucho Marx And Duck Soup: No Sacred Cows

Eighty-four years ago, the Marx Brother’s film, Duck Soup (1933), premiered and despite being considered their masterpiece today, flopped. Its anti-war, anti-establishment, anti-politician message (if there can be a message in a Marx Brothers’ film), flew against the zeitgeist. Leader-worship was in vogue in 33, from Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany (both countries banned the film) to even FDR’s America. Satire and criticism, rampant in the 20s, which was really the Marx Brothers’ decade, was considered politically incorrect in “let’s pull together” ethos of New Deal America. Literally in Duck Soup, the Marx Brothers, un-plugged, un-policed, refuse to close ranks.… Keep Reading

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Kurt Vonnegut: Eternal Optimist

One of the oldest sayings is that there are “no atheists in foxholes.” But for those soldiers either wounded or hit with the body parts of their exploding friends, the more apt expressions were caught by Paul Fussell, forty-percent disabled World War II vet and the most articulate historian of war. Before combat, Fussell catches the mindset of the virgin soldier: “It can’t happen to me. I’m too clever/agile/well-trained/good-looking/beloved/tightly laced etc.” Then after combat, the realization hits: “It is going to happen to me, and only my not being there is going to prevent it.” Kurt Vonnegut, definitely “there,” amazingly,… Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Politics

Orwell And Trotsky: At Odds

During his lifetime, British writer George Orwell was characterized as a follower of exiled Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky. H.G Welles dismissed Orwell as “a Trotskyite with big feet.” On a more lethal note, the Spanish secret police, on orders from Moscow, hunted Orwell during the Spanish Civil War for the crime of”Trotskyism” because he fought in a Marxist military unit at odds with Stalin. His “Trotskyism” even affected his livelihood; Orwell’s submission of Animal Farm to the publisher Faber and Faber was rejected by poet and employee T.S. Eliot for expressing “Trotskyite” views. At first glance, the literary evidence seems to… Keep Reading

Posted on in Culture/History

Politics Over Humor: Donald Ogden Stewart

Robert Benchley, humorist and member of the famed Algonquin Round Table, once said of writing for the New Yorker in the 1920s, “you could write anything you liked, as long as you did it in evening clothes.” Benchley, no radical, was likely referring to the magazine’s toleration of him skewering everything and anything with his lethal wit. Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Politics

More Alike Than Not: Richard Nixon And Alger Hiss

A cliche so overused it is at ad nauseam level is the one where villains tell heroes that “we are not so different, you and I.” But occasionally this rings true. A prime example is Richard Nixon and Alger Hiss. Despite then-Congressman Nixon being the one who, probably more than any other figure at the time, exposed former State Department official Alger Hiss as a Soviet spy (later re-confirmed by declassified Soviet documents), Nixon and Hiss, as the years rolled by had more in common than not. Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Politics

The Assassination Of JFK: Losing The Last Conservative Democrat

Attached to the Kennedy Assassination has always been what was lost when the President was murdered. For some, it was America’s innocence; for others, it was the center, which would no longer hold. Perhaps the most peddled of these answers comes from the Camelot camp. For them, what was lost when Kennedy died was the opportunity to end the Cold War, and thus, avoid the quagmire of Vietnam. In their history lesson, Kennedy, chastened by the Cuban Missile Crisis, became an American Gorbachev, attempting to normalize relations with Castro and withdraw troops from Vietnam. Keep Reading

Posted on in History

Frank Mankiewicz: Not Following In Dad’s Footsteps

Herman Mankiewicz, who, according to all evidence was the chief writer of the screen classic, Citizen Kane, was unusually well-informed politically for a Hollywood screenwriter in Golden Age Hollywood (and, given, the Meryl Streeps of the world, even more so, today). His huge library was composed almost primarily of political books, and his research on the thinly-veiled subject of Kane, William Randolph Hearst was impeccable. Although taking “progressive” stands, (he supported the ACLU, labor leader John L. Lewis, and despised conservative president Calvin Coolidge) Mankiewicz blasted born-again Communists in Hollywood as uninformed idiots, whose information came solely from The New… Keep Reading

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Conquest At 100

Asked before his death about his proudest achievement, liberal actor Paul Newman stated, “making Nixon’s enemies’ list.” And that is a view shared by many 70s-era liberals (their counterparts today are probably hoping that Trump keeps such a list and that they will soon be on it). But to my mind, the more dangerous list, given their penchant for overseas’ liquidations, at least during the 30s and 40s, would be that compiled by the Soviet Union. And the person who made the top of the list, a title he held from 1968 to 1989, from the Brezhnev era to the… Keep Reading

Posted on in History

Edward Lansdale: The Lone Voice Of Reason In The Vietnam War

In Oliver Stone’s wildly conspiratorial JFK, the chief plotter behind the Kennedy assassination, identified as “General Y,” is obscured by the shadows, and is identified with enough letters visible on his nameplate on the desk to reveal the identity of “Y.” “Y” is General Edward Lansdale, a counter-insurgency expert who, unfortunately for Stone’s thesis that Kennedy was killed by “Y” and his cohorts because the president was about to withdraw the American advisers from Vietnam, was actually less of a hawk on Vietnam than Kennedy; indeed, the more one looks at Lansdale the more apparent it is it that, among… Keep Reading

Posted on in History

Defending Dad: Allen Ryskind And The Conservative Blacklist

Children of the blacklisted are usually associated with the Communist—if they bother to admit that—Left. From the undoubted suffering visited upon their parents by the red-hunting climate of the 1950s (but it should be noted that that their parents lost in effect their swimming pools, while the truly persecuted in the Soviet Union, the country the blacklisted defended, lost their lives), children like the late Christopher Trumbo, son of the Stalinist screenwriter who toppled the blacklist, strum the violin and attack all forms of anticommunists. But there were other children of the blacklisted, largely ignored by the mainstream media, because… Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Politics

Using Everything And Anything: A Historian’s Attack On Reagan

Historian Rick Perlstein has been criticized by historians and reviewers for using the internet for sources. But the real criticism ought to be directed at Perlstein’s method of editing out competing information, slanting the treatment toward a leftist agenda, and relying on dubious sources that bolster his side of the spectrum. This is never truer than with Perlstein’s treatment of Ronald Reagan. Keep Reading

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Navasky And Hiss: Holding On

Former Nation editor and anti-anti-Communist Victor Navasky may, with a few pathetic exceptions, be the last hold-out on the innocence of exposed Soviet spy Alger Hiss. Unconvinced to this day, despite the release of declassified Soviet documents from the 1940s describing Hiss in detail, Navasky has championed Hiss with a fervor bordering on the religious, and has used dated arguments, going back to the time of Hiss’ 1950s trial, that show a mindset trapped in the past. Keep Reading

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David Irving: Back On The Lecture Tour

Holocaust-Denying historian David Irving has been activated into a lecture tour by the new film, Denial, which depicts his 1996 lawsuit against U.S. historian Deborah E. Lipstadt for charging him with denying the Holocaust. Even though Irving lost the case when the judge agreed with Lipstadt and deemed him a “Holocaust denier,” the far-right historian is nevertheless embarking on a month-long lecture tour to once again combat this accusation. In the past, he has stated that the number of Jews murdered by the Nazis was greatly exaggerated, that Hitler was not involved in the Holocaust, and that Auschwitz did not… Keep Reading

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Patriotism Versus Science: George Orwell On H.G. Wells

One of the reasons conservatives feel a kinship with British socialist writer George Orwell is that he was not afraid to embrace concepts of patriotism over cold empiricism or dialectical thinking. A good case in point was his taking to the woodshed Fabian Socialist writer H.G.Welles in a remarkable essay written while the Nazi bombs were blitzing England. Keep Reading

Posted on in Culture/History

Lester Cole: Hater

When I was a graduate student, my mentor of sorts, John Patrick Diggins, told me of an incident he had with blacklisted screenwriter Lester Cole, who along with nine others, testified before Congress 70 years ago, in 1947. Both were watching the Watergate hearings, when Cole exploded to Diggins, “See, it has to be done like Castro—democracy doesn’t work!” Whether true or not, this moment certainly fit Cole’s character. For, as the only member of the Hollywood Ten who remained a Stalinist, Cole hated till his dying day. Keep Reading

Posted on in History/Politics

Mailer And MacDonald: Rescuing The Warren Commission

For 50 years, critics of the Warren Commission have usually been associated with the Left. From Khrushchev to Oliver Stone (hardly a leap) have obviously sought a more politically satisfying sniper than the grubby deadbeat Oswald. With regard to the Warren Commission, it is merely a cover job designed to misdirect attention from the true conspirators onto Oswald. But not all leftists attacked the conclusions of the Warren Commission. Two writers, a former Trotskyite, the other a former Communist supporter, came (sometimes reluctantly) to the conclusion that Oswald indeed acted alone. Keep Reading

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