Not even the coloring book version of American Betrayal would resemble the crude strokes of National Review's latest caricature -- the fourth attempt regarding my book by this particular writer. His name is Ron Capshaw and he first joined the campaign of lies and smears against me and my book with the immortal words:
I haven’t read West (I do intend to), but ...
Here is Capshaw's full quotation from August 12, 2013:
I haven’t read West (I do intend to), but from the scuttlebutt and reviews circulating the internet, it is fairly apparent that she is a reckless historian of the McCarthy school of history.This, Ron Radosh is not.
Unlike the conspiratorial school, populated on the left by Oliver Stone, and on the right by West, Radosh dares to take a complex view of history. He is grown up enough to realize that both Hiss was guilty and McCarthy was a reckless demagogue; that the blacklist was wrong and that the Hollywood Ten were selective civil libertarians....
Ruth King dubbed Capshaw "quite the cur" for his own, dare I say, recklessness. (John L. Work has chosen another animal.)
Whether Capshaw ever actually read American Betrayal, he continues to channel the same Learned Professor "scuttlebut and reviews" -- an ever-growing oeuvre. In addition to four (4) Capshaws, there are at least five (5) Radoshes, four (4) Blacks, three (3) Haynes & Klehrs and four (4) Horowitzes. In this quite peculiar fraternal order, the motto seems to be: "One is not enough."
The latest pops up an oddity of a piece averring the core liberalism of some ex-Communists under discussion by Rick Perlstein at The Nation for their putative conservatism -- "extremism" in Nation-speak. Capshaw:
Perlstein also neglects to mention the easily available evidence that Radosh was hardly a right-winger at the time The Rosenberg File was published. A year later, he was still calling himself “a democratic socialist,” and he voted for Mondale rather than Reagan.
Against the labels of right-wing extremist and McCarthyite lodged against him by Perlstein, Radosh was in actuality in the forefront of those denouncing Diana West’s book American Betrayal, which argued that the New Deal and indeed the Allied war effort against the Nazis were Communist-directed.
As usual, the crudeness of the distortion is confounding -- particularly in a piece rather hilariously claiming to restore nuance overlooked by The Nation. Is such crudeness on purpose? Is it evidence of a pitiable density? Something else?
Whatever the answers, people can and do still read my book to assess for themselves the history of Communist deception, subversion and corruption (sourced to nearly 1,000 endnotes), which is something quite different from my detractors' usual descriptions. For example, here is how former Speaker Newt Gingrich described American Betrayal just last week as he testified before the House Homeland Security Committee:
This whole idiocy that you can't talk honestly about the nature of the people who are trying to kill you strikes me as utterly irrational. And, by the way, we had exactly the same experience in the Forties and early Fifties with the Soviets -- and you can read Diana West's American Betrayal -- and it is breathtaking how hard we worked to hide from the degree of Soviet penetration because it shook our whole system. Well, you're in the same business again.
And that is exactly why I set out to write the book. Wouldn't it be marvelous to have discussions about that? Hah. One thing my tiny band of detractors seems not to want to do is shake the system as it rests on the lies and half-truths of "court history."
Alas -- back to Capshaw:
Of this work [American Betrayal], for which Perlstein’s label of “right-wing” is a better fit than for the others mentioned above, Radosh wrote: “Ms. West writes without an understanding of historical context and lacks awareness of much of the scholarly literature on the subjects she writes about. Moreover, she disregards the findings of the sources she does rely on when they contradict her yellow journalism conspiracy theories. Consequently she arrives at judgment after judgment that is not only bizarre on its face, but also unwarranted by the evidence and refuted by the very authorities she draws on.”"
Ah me, "yellow journalism conspiracy theories" again -- but finally, perhaps, put to good use.
As Capshaw tells it, Radosh's indelible disgrace -- his animating role in the disinformation campaign against American Betrayal (debunked here or here) -- should be his ticket out of the Right.