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American Betrayal

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"It is not simply a good book about history. It is one of those books which makes history. ... "

-- Vladimir Bukovsky, co-founder of the Soviet dissident movement and author of Judgment in Moscow, and Pavel Stroilov, author of Behind the Desert Storm.

"Diana West is distinguished from almost all political commentators because she seeks less to defend ideas and proposals than to investigate and understand what happens and what has happened. This gives her modest and unpretentious books and articles the status of true scientific inquiry, shifting the debate from the field of liking and disliking to being and non-being."

-- Olavo de Carvalho

If you're looking for something to read, this is the most dazzling, mind-warping book I have read in a long time. It has been criticized by the folks at Front Page, but they don't quite get what Ms. West has set out to do and accomplished. I have a whole library of books on communism, but -- "Witness" excepted -- this may be the best.

-- Jack Cashill, author of Deconstructing Obama: The Lives, Loves and Letters of America's First Postmodern President and First Strike: TWA Flight 800 and the Attack on America

"Every once in a while, something happens that turns a whole structure of preconceived ideas upside down, shattering tales and narratives long taken for granted, destroying prejudice, clearing space for new understanding to grow. Diana West's latest book, American Betrayal, is such an event."

 -- Henrik Raeder Clausen, Europe News

West's lesson to Americans: Reality can't be redacted, buried, fabricated, falsified, or omitted. Her book is eloquent proof of it.

-- Edward Cline, Family Security Matters

"I have read it, and agree wholeheartedly."

-- Angelo Codevilla, Professor Emeritus of International Relations at Boston Unversity, and fellow of the Claremont Institute. 

Enlightening. I give American Betrayal five stars only because it is not possible to give it six.

-- John Dietrich, formerly of the Defense Intelligence Agency and author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy.

After reading American Betrayal and much of the vituperation generated by neoconservative "consensus" historians, I conclude that we cannot ignore what West has demonstrated through evidence and cogent argument.

-- John Dale Dunn, M.D., J.D., Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons

"A brilliantly researched and argued book."

-- Edward Jay Epstein, author of Deception: The Invisible War between the KGB and the CIA, The Annals 0f Unsolved Crime 

"This explosive book is a long-needed answer to court histories that continue to obscure key facts about our backstage war with Moscow. Must-reading for serious students of security issues and Cold War deceptions, both foreign and domestic."

-- M. Stanton Evans, author of Stalin's Secret Agents and Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies

Her task is ambitious; her sweep of crucial but too-little-known facts of history is impressive; and her arguments are eloquent and witty. ... American Betrayal is one of those books that will change the way many of us see the world.

-- Susan Freis Falknor, Blue Ridge Forum

"American Betrayal is absolutely required reading. Essential. You're sleepwalking without it."

-- Chris Farrell, director of investigations research, Judicial Watch

"Diana West wrote a brilliant book called American Betrayal, which I recommend to everybody ... It is a seminal work that will grow in importance." 

-- Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker 

"This is a must read for any serious student of history and anyone working to understand the Marxist counter-state in America."

-- John Guandolo, president, Understanding the Threat, former FBI special agent 

“What Diana West has done is to dynamite her way through several miles of bedrock. On the other side of the tunnel there is a vista of a new past. Of course folks are baffled. Few people have the capacity to take this in. Her book is among the most well documented I have ever read. It is written in an unusual style viewed from the perspective of the historian—but it probably couldn’t have been done any other way.”

-- Lars Hedegaard, historian, journalist, founder, Danish Free Press Society

The polemics against your Betrayal have a familiar smell: The masters of the guild get angry when someone less worthy than they are ventures into the orchard in which only they are privileged to harvest. The harvest the outsider brought in, they ritually burn.

-- Hans Jansen, former professor of Islamic Thought, University of Utrecht 

No book has ever frightened me as much as American Betrayal. ... [West] patiently builds a story outlining a network of subversion so bizarrely immense that to write it down will seem too fantastic to anyone without the book’s detailed breadth and depth. It all adds up to a story so disturbing that it has changed my attitude to almost everything I think about how the world actually is. ... By the time you put the book down, you have a very different view of America’s war aims and strategies. The core question is, did the USA follow a strategy that served its own best interests, or Stalin’s? And it’s not that it was Stalin’s that is so compelling, since you knew that had to be the answer, but the evidence in detail that West provides that makes this a book you cannot ignore. 

-- Steven Kates, RMIT (Australia) Associate Professor of Economics, Quadrant

"Diana West's new book rewrites WWII and Cold War history not by disclosing secrets, but by illuminating facts that have been hidden in plain sight for decades. Furthermore, she integrates intelligence and political history in ways never done before."

-- Jeffrey Norwitz, former professor of counterterrorism, Naval War College

[American Betrayal is] the most important anti-Communist book of our time ... a book that can open people's eyes to the historical roots of our present malaise ... full of insights, factual corroboration, and psychological nuance. 

-- J.R. Nyquist, author, Origins of the Fourth World War 

Although I know [Christopher] Andrew well, and have met [Oleg] Gordievsky twice, I now doubt their characterization of Hopkins -- also embraced by Radosh and the scholarly community. I now support West's conclusions after rereading KGB: The Inside Story account 23 years later [relevant passages cited in American Betrayal]. It does not ring true that Hopkins was an innocent dupe dedicated solely to defeating the Nazis. Hopkins comes over in history as crafty, secretive and no one's fool, hardly the personality traits of a naïve fellow traveler. And his fingerprints are on the large majority of pro-Soviet policies implemented by the Roosevelt administration. West deserves respect for cutting through the dross that obscures the evidence about Hopkins, and for screaming from the rooftops that the U.S. was the victim of a successful Soviet intelligence operation.

-- Bernie Reeves, founder of The Raleigh Spy Conference, American Thinker

Diana West’s American Betrayal — a remarkable, novel-like work of sorely needed historical re-analysis — is punctuated by the Cassandra-like quality of “multi-temporal” awareness. ... But West, although passionate and direct, is able to convey her profoundly disturbing, multi-temporal narrative with cool brilliance, conjoining meticulous research, innovative assessment, evocative prose, and wit.

-- Andrew G. Bostom, PJ Media

Do not be dissuaded by the controversy that has erupted around this book which, if you insist on complete accuracy, would be characterized as a disinformation campaign.

-- Jed Babbin, The American Spectator

In American Betrayal, Ms. West's well-established reputation for attacking "sacred cows" remains intact. The resulting beneficiaries are the readers, especially those who can deal with the truth.

-- Wes Vernon, Renew America

If the Soviet penetration of Washington, D.C., was so wide and so deep that it functioned like an occupation …
 
If, as a result of that occupation, American statecraft became an extension of Soviet strategy …
 
If the people who caught on – investigators, politicians, defectors – and tried to warn the American public were demonized, ridiculed and destroyed for the good of that occupation and to further that strategy …
 
And if the truth was suppressed by an increasingly complicit Uncle Sam …

Would you feel betrayed?

Now available from St. Martin's Press, American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character

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Aug 11

Written by: Diana West
Sunday, August 11, 2013 12:20 PM 

I have submitted this to American Thinker and expect it to be posted. Here is a sneak preview:

In Bernie Reeves’ review of my book, American Betrayal, at American Thinker, he discusses another review, one by Ronald Radosh that appeared at Frontpage Magazine. I will be writing a rebuttal to the Radosh review. In the meantime, however, I would like to address the issue of scholarship that both reviews raise.

The subject is bandied about in these two reviews. Indeed, scholarship is perhaps the main complaint they both raise about the book: i.e., that I have none.

Radosh writes, for example, that I do “not know how to evaluate the reliability of a source or assess the evidence produced.” Also, that I disregard “the findings of the sources she does rely on when they contradict her yellow journalism conspiracy theories.”

Since American Betrayal contains 900-plus endnotes, that’s a lot of sources that I allegedly do not know how to evaluate and also disregard. Is it true? Is Ronald Radosh the appropriate arbiter?

To be sure, Bernie Reeves has many positive things to say about my book – not least of which concerns one of my most controversial arguments, which holds that Harry Hopkins, FDR’s top aide during World War II, was a conscious agent of Stalin’s influence on US policy-making. Asserting that he now supports “West’s conclusions” regarding Hopkins, Reeves writes:

 “It does not ring true that Hopkins was an innocent dupe dedicated solely to defeating the Nazis. Hopkins comes over in history as crafty, secretive and no one's fool, hardly the personality traits of a naïve fellow traveler. And his fingerprints are on the large majority of pro-Soviet policies implemented by the Roosevelt administration. West deserves respect for cutting through the dross that obscures the evidence about Hopkins, and for screaming from the rooftops that the U.S. was the victim of a successful Soviet intelligence operation.”

I note that Reeves doesn’t take issue personally with my scholarship in his review. He does, however, defer to Radosh’s denunciations of it.

Reeves writes, “Radosh's evisceration of West [at Frontpage] churns up contradictory facts.” Again, Reeves doesn’t, however, present them himself.

Reeves continues:

“Radosh cites key Cold War scholars to tear apart West's view. I know and like Radosh and almost all of the experts he refers to, and agree they are excellent researchers and writers. But they are all restricted by their profession not to dramatize their findings. “

If this is so, and if Reeves considers Radosh a “Cold War scholar,” is it correct to say that Radosh has refrained from dramatizing his findings in such articles as “Why I Wrote a Take-Down of Diana West’s Awful Book,” or “McCarthy on Steroids”?

Reeves:

“Diane [sic] West is not a scholar, but she certainly has the right to connect dots and come to conclusions, even if she is unable to present historical detail on a scholarly level.”

Again, no support beyond Radosh’s say-so for this damaging critique of my alleged mishandling of “historical detail on a scholarly level.”

More Reeves:

“And while Radosh rightfully criticizes West for her academic mistakes and conclusions, this does not mean that she is wrong in portraying the reality that the U.S. was duped into pro-Soviet policies that extended in scope beyond the military objective to keep Stalin in the war. “

So, to recap, Radosh “rightfully” criticizes me for my “academic mistakes” but readers of the Reeves review are left in the cold as to what they are.

Is this fair?

As noted above, I will be rebutting the Radosh review, which runs some 7,000 words. It will take some time. However, this unsubstantiated attack at American Thinker on my scholarship is too damaging to wait. I am being slandered on the word of a reviewer whose own scholarship has been called into serious question in the past [see M. Stanton Evans’ reply to Ronald Radosh’s review of Blacklisted by History]. I will now call it into question by highlighting some egregious failures of accuracy.

I can do so in ways small and large.

Small first.

For example, Radosh writes: “Instead of weighing these fears, West turns to another anecdote telling how George Elsey found confidential files in the Map Room that showed FDR naively thinking he could trust Stalin, and instructed Hopkins to tell Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov that FDR was in favor of a Second Front in 1942.”

There’s one problem with Radosh’s scholarship here. This anecdote about George Elsey, confidential files and the Map Room isn’t in my book. Anywhere. I explained this amazing failure at the end of an initial rebuttal I published at my own website. The next day, Radosh wrote a retort headlined: “Diana West’s Attempt to Respond.” (Incidentally, this was Frontpage’s lead story, over and above a story about Republican capitulations on amnesty and immigration! To be precise, the amnesty/immigration piece was third in the Frontpage queue. No. 2 was “Diana West Vs. History,” a brand new attack on me that compares my book’s thesis to Nazi propaganda.)

In his retort, Radosh writes: “Maybe she couldn’t find the anecdote. But it is there in three different places where she writes how FDR told Hopkins to go into Molotov’s bedroom while he was staying in the White House so that he could meet with the President, and at that meeting, Hopkins told Molotov that FDR was in favor of a Second Front.”

Now we have another problem. The brand new anecdote isn’t in my book, either.

It gets worse.

Radosh goes on to list the three pages the new and improved (but still not in my book) anecdote allegedly appears on. He writes:

“They can be found on p. 129, p. 268 and p. 296. She missed them because of a trivial error I did make which was to associate the anecdote she took from her source, Laurence Rees’ WW II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West, with the anecdote about Elsey’s find, which is in another part of Rees’ book.”

My source is Laurence Rees? Really? Radosh keeps going.

“West may not have mentioned Elsey’s role in her own text, but it is the anecdote itself about the Second Front that is the crux of this matter and she does refer to it on three occasions.”

It’s getting to be a pattern: Radosh is wrong again. Reference 1 has nothing to do with the Second Front, and my source isn’t Rees, it’s Robert Sherwood (if anyone is keeping score).

References 2 and 3 are indeed about the Second Front (congratulations), but they don’t not relate a story about Elsey, confidential files, or Map Room (the original anecdote) or about “how FDR told Hopkins to go into Molotov’s bedroom while he was staying in the White House so that he could meet with the President, and at that meeting, Hopkins told Molotov that FDR was in favor of a Second Front,” as Radosh now maintains.

In my book, it is Hopkins, not FDR, who is acting with volition, and there is nothing in my account about Molotov’s bedroom. In Reference 2, I write: “Was it merely paradoxical back in May 1942, when, according to Soviet records, Harry Hopkins privately coached Foreign Minister Molotov on what to say to FDR to overcome U.S. military arguments against a `second front’ in France in May 1942?”

Will anyone be surprised to learn my source isn’t Rees this time, either? It’s Eduard Mark.

Reference 3 restates Reference 2, so Rees still isn’t the source.

So much for small things.

It so happens the above example of what is passing for “scholarship” these days occurs in the fifth and final section of Radosh’s main arguments against my book. This final section is subtitled, “The Issue of the Second Front” and runs about 1,800 critical words about my thesis about the Second Front. He describes my thesis thus:

“The final piece of West’s conspiracy puzzle is the decision to open a Second Front on the continent of Europe, which Stalin had been demanding from the moment Hitler broke his pact with the Kremlin and invaded the Soviet motherland. Let us assume for a moment that a cross-Channel invasion had been mounted in 1943 (before the Axis armies had been decimated in North Africa, Sicily and Italy) instead of at Normandy in 1944. In that case, as Rees argues, the Allies might indeed have reached Eastern Europe earlier in the fighting and Soviet influence would have been lessened. West, as we have seen, attributes the failure to Soviet agents who prevented Roosevelt and Churchill from following this course, allowing Stalin to take control. But Rees also writes (in a passage West also ignores) that `the cost in human terms for the Western Allies would have been enormous.’ “

There I go again, right?

Wrong. The debate Radosh describes – exactly when to mount the cross-Channel invasion into northern France that we know as D-Day -- was indeed intense, and remains a subject of interest for World War II historians – such as Rees. It is not the crux of debate – let alone “the final piece of West’s conspiracy puzzle” -- in my book American Betrayal.

Yes, Ronald Radosh is wrong again, although this time it is not one (or three) anecdotes, it is a major portion of a book. The problem is, it is not my book. I begin to wonder if perhaps Radosh is reviewing Laurence Rees’s book, not American Betrayal. In any event, the climactic section of Radosh’s self-described “take-down” of my book becomes completely erroneous.

The Second Front debate that I do focus on at great and heavily sourced length may be encapsulated in the headline of a short piece that recently ran at Breitbart.com in a five-part series based on American Betrayal: “Did Communist Influence Boost D-Day Invasion Over Italy Strategy?” The debate over an invasion of France vs. Italy is an issue completely separate from the debate over when to stage D-Day. Cold War Scholar Radosh, however, completely missed my main argument, and finds fault with someone else’s.

Of course, maybe that’s because my section on the France vs, Italy debate is just 13,500 words long and has only 84 endnotes.

“Conspiratorial theories of history are easy to create once you are prepared to ignore the realities on the ground.” To which I would reply: “Evisceration” of books are easy to create once you are prepared to ignore the words in the book.

But is it scholarship?

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-- Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, Fox News contributor, and author of numerous bestselling books.

"This fascinating new book by Diana West, a leading expert on the history of American communism, offers intriguing insights into the anti-Trump conspiracy. Ms. West teases out highly interesting, and disturbing, facts about many of the anti-Trump conspiracy players. But more importantly, she lays out a larger framework in which to view the philosophical drivers of many of the conspirators, who fall into the Marxist/globalist/collectivist political camp. This is in direct opposition to the capitalist/nationalist/individualistic political camp led by Donald Trump. Trump was anathema to these individuals because he represented an existential threat to the globalist enterprise, which has been so long in the making." 

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