Before I link (below) to a new and spirited defense of me and American Betrayal, an update:
The continuing Rado-Horo super-charged attack machine against a book -- mine -- finds an ally in Andrew Sullivan, and now Mother Jones.
Sullivan, quoted by Mother Jones, is "dismayed how isolated the push-back against the book -- Horowitz and Radosh -- seemed to be on the right," although he did take cheer ("some good news today") in NRO's Conrad Black "review" -- i.e., the latest attack by someone who hasn't read the book.
Over at Tundra Tabloids, Kenneth Sikorski picks up on this pattern:
”In regards to the mindset of FPM, Radosh and like ilk, it’s says everything about them and nothing about Diana and her book, when supposedly serious scholars refuse to read a work because it holds an opposing view. They are exhibiting the exact same mindset of certain [Global Warming] scientists who refuse data because it conflicts with their ”proven” science.”
Mother Jones, meanwhile, broods over too few people on the right who haven't read my book not denouncing it.
Sadly, Conrad Black hardly counts. Sure, he's a conservative, but he's also a biographer of FDR who adores his subject. The fact that he's defending Roosevelt doesn't actually say much about the right.
On the other hand, Horowitz and Radosh aren't exactly squishes on this stuff. If even they agree that West's book is nonsense, then you can be pretty sure that it must be pretty well marinated in the worst kind of Glenn Beck-style nutballism. And yet, great swathes of the right wing have embraced it eagerly.
Three cheers for the "great swathes"!
I am also gladdened by a new essay at Family Security Matters by Michael McCann: "In Defense of Diana West and `American Betrayal.' "
In his essay, McCann asks the $64,000 questions perplexing us all:
Why, then the visceral, personal attack on Diana West by Frontpage Mag? The revelations of her powerful narrative seemed to have rocked the boat. When I read David Horowitz's initial editorial response, I honestly wondered if he read the same book I read or if he had, indeed, read the book at all. After attacking her competency, Horowitz writes, "West has already shown herself to be a very angry, very self-centered and a very reckless partisan, with a paranoid streak and a disposition to think in extreme terms that have only a tenuous and deceptive relation to the truth." With effort, I can think of a few people who might fit this description but the least likely is Diana West.
I categorically reject his statement, word for word, as having no basis in truth. Such a statement cannot be surmised or even remotely construed from her recent book or from any of her many articles with which I am familiar. Where, how and why did Horowitz come up with this? As regards to competency, her work speaks for itself. This is not the problem. But when he says, "It's not about our desire to suppress West's ideas...", I would say, it is exactly about suppressing her ideas and doing so immediately before they gain more traction. Moreover, the venom and stridency of this unwarranted attack goes beyond all bounds of decency. How does one characterize the attempt to destroy someone and a reputation built over a lifetime? There is no instance in which this O.K. A dispassionate collegial dispute among peers would have been of benefit to all. What we observe is Horowitz's authoritarianism bordering on the sadistic with the obvious and singular goal to humiliate, cause pain and destroy. This is as readily apparent as it is reprehensible.
Read the rest here.
McCann, by the way, describes himself as "a retired builder and citizen journalist with a lifelong interest in history, culture and social issues, with a special focus on the Soviet phenomenon."
Notice he is not an academic. Notice he is not a dictatorial gatekeeper.
He is someone with ideas and the means and fine manner of expressing them himself.
That, I suspect, is what they are afraid of.