All posts by Sara Dogan

Review of The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama by Richard Baehr

Below is Richard Baehr’s review of David Horowitz’s new book, The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama(reprinted from American Thinker with permission). The book is volume 7 of The Black Book of the American Left, a multi-volume collection of David Horowitz’s conservative writings that will, when completed, be the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to define the Left and its agenda. (Order HERE.)We encourage our readers to visit which features Horowitz’s introductions to Volumes 1-7 of this 9-volume series, along with their tables of contents, reviews and interviews with the author.

Every year, there is some report of the blissful ignorance of American history demonstrated by the supposedly best and brightest at elite American universities. Suffice it to say the collected writings of David Horowitz on the American Left, which constitute part of a solid foundation for understanding the last half century of American politics, are nowhere to be found on any college or high school reading list.

Horowitz’s latest book, The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama, is the seventh volume in his nine-volume collection, The Black Book of the American Left. This new volume provides a collection of his writings over the last quarter century, focusing primarily on the Left’s control in our government and culture. As Horowitz reveals, even during the Bush years, conservatives were on the defense and leftists controlled the narrative as they attempted to destroy Bush and his chances for re-election in 2004. Their primary mode of attack was to undermine America’s efforts in Iraq almost from the start of the conflict, when just months earlier a majority of Senate Democrats and near half of House Democrats had supported the President. The Left then destroyed Bush’s second term with bogus charges of racist neglect in the handling of Hurricane Katrina. There was plenty of incompetence in the response to Katrina, but local and state officials — all Democrats, of course, and many of them African American — were the principal operators on the ground during the crisis.

The immediate abandonment of support for the Iraq war effort was a signal event in American history, sending a message that a large part of the Democratic Party was not remotely concerned about the morale of our men and women fighting overseas. The weak effort by some Democrats to hold onto an ounce of patriotic resolve — “end the war, support the troops” — was designed more for campaign speeches than any meaningful attempt to convey national unity for the effort underway by our armed forces. So too, the obsession with Abu Ghraib gave the lie to the Democrats’ “support our troops” message, as a broad brush was used to paint the incident as somehow what you would expect from our military on a routine basis.

Horowitz outlines this narrative, faulting the Bush administration for failing to fight harder to present its story of why we went into Iraq and the risks if we had done nothing.  Regrettably, the Bush administration never had a chance to get a better defense of the Iraq war out to the media. Most in the media considered the Bush administration illegitimate due to its narrow victory in the 2000 presidential contest, a lie to be sure. Unfortunately, it is almost certainly true that the media today are far more in the bag for the left than ten or twenty years ago and work harder at pushing the left’s agenda. The soft liberalism of Walter Cronkite has been replaced by cable and national network anchors who routinely bury stories embarrassing to their side and focus on those that can do damage to the other side. During the current Presidential election cycle, we have seen the most prestigious media organs explain why it is necessary and appropriate for them to be biased this year.  It is a special time, they argue, because Trump is, in their view, a unique threat to the Republic.

On the other hand, the media have been loath to consider the damage to the country caused by Barack Obama — the loss of respect abroad for America’s will to fight, the degradation of our military readiness, the fraying of ties with allies, and the near obsessive outreach to America’s enemies that led to agreements such as the nuclear deal with Iran, best described as an abject surrender of American interests that will lead to the funding of fanatical nuclear regime. About 85% of those supposedly sensible pro-Israel Democrats walked the plank behind their great leader on that deal, with no visible regrets to date. There was simply too much political risk to oppose the first black president of their party. The media were happy to parrot the administration’s talking points for the nuclear deal, something the manipulators crowed over at the White House.

At least in the propaganda use of Abu Ghraib, the Left was honest in revealing what it thinks about the military. As Horowitz outlines in article after article, the Left is fighting a war that most Americans do not see, disguising its intentions through its aggressive, unceasing promotion of “progressive” policies “to make America a better place.” This commitment to deception emerges, Horowitz reveals, from the allegiance to the ideology of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” a formative doctrine for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The progressive goal is to achieve a new society that has never been seen before in this country, though it has been promised and has catastrophically failed in many places around the globe. In America, the Left is not only unconcerned with selling their program to the public, but also, Horowitz argues, it is fearful of the result of voters knowing what it is pursuing. One prime example was the admission of MIT professor and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber that health care law would never have made it through Congress if it had been presented honestly.

The Left is also busy at work making it easier for itself to win politically. Horowitz provides chapter and verse on the Left’s efforts to rapidly change the composition of the voting pool — motor voter registration with no birth certificate required, fighting every effort to combat voter fraud with charges of racism and “turning the clock back,” even when  states were willing to pay for potential voters obtaining the needed documents to register, support for open borders, expansion of legal immigration, and amnesty and citizenship (and voting rights) for more than ten million already in the country illegally. Here the Left’s mentor and financier is George Soros and his buddies, who have funded dozens of organizations which fight on multiple fronts every day to advance the left politically. And Horowitz has done a great public service by his Discover the Network listing of the people responsible for America’s steady drift to the radical Left.

The Left uses the racism charge in many of the confrontations it creates. Of course, the problems of America’s inner cities, all under complete control of one political party for half a century, have never been of even near equal interest to the Democrats as their ability to continue to win enormous majorities among inner city voters, particularly African Americans.   The Left has fully endorsed the teacher unions’ opposition to charter schools, and voucher programs, though both are popular with minority group parents and children. The two major teachers unions are simply too powerful a support group for the Democratic Party (campaign cash, votes, and volunteers) for the Left to support policies that might lead to a better future for kids as opposed to continued growth in expenditures for the teachers unions and their workforce.

In the last two years, the Soros-funded Black Lives Matter movement has created a near national hysteria over the alleged systematic effort by police to kill unarmed black men.  Between two and three dozen unarmed blacks are killed by cops each year, many of them in situations where the ”victims” were almost certainly responsible for what happened to them — Michael Brown in Ferguson is a prime example. One wonders where the news media are to report on the police shooting of unarmed whites, which greatly outnumber those of unarmed blacks. Perhaps because there are no riots, or looting, these incidents have no cachet. More likely, they do not fit the systemic racism charge now routinely thrown around by everyone from the current President to Hillary Clinton.

In Chicago in 9 months this year, over 400 blacks, mostly men, have been shot and killed, almost exclusively by other black men. By year end, over 4,000 Chicagoans will have been shot. One might think this was a bigger story of urban calamity and civil society breakdown than a shooting in Charlotte.  Chicago’s mayor says that police “have gone fetal,” avoiding making stops in crime ridden neighborhoods, with the ACLU looking over their shoulder demanding a report for every stop, and activists in the neighborhoods treating the police with scorn and abuse, following a bad police shooting captured on video and kept hidden from the public by Chicago’s mayor to protect his re-election bid. Rahm Emanuel must also have read Alinsky, for he knows whose hide to protect first and foremost. The victims of the police pullback in Chicago, Baltimore, St, Louis and other cities, called “the Ferguson effect,” are many more dead black men, killed in crime waves that are reminiscent of the 1990s.  Even the FBI Director admits the Ferguson Effect is real, when not covering for Hillary Clinton.

Horowitz’ latest book is full of insights and straight talk on the goals and the mission of the Left, and how it has advanced its cause this last quarter century. He provides the kind of arguments that keep his books from getting reviewed by the New York Times. And there is always a horrible slur available from the Left to describe a viewpoint that counters one of its missions. The Left chooses to ignore the argument and uses character assassination for the people making it. It argues that these are people (Horowitz included) unworthy of serious consideration, or respect.

Silencing the critic or the dissident or limiting his visibility has been a long time weapon of the Left.  So far, Horowitz keeps writing, and America is free enough that the Left, though it clearly wants to, cannot ban his books.  George Soros and his family have another $20 billion to spend on changing America. The Alinsky acolytes have their mission laid out to make use of the funds and create an America where the smart bureaucrats can organize society and distribute its wealth, so results are all equal. And we can all sing along with the Pete Seeger songs as we turn away from any role overseas (where of course we have primarily been an agent of evil) and disinvest in defense every year.

Let’s hope that some of America’s young will read Horowitz’ books,and learn what their professors and teachers won’t teach them.

America’s Real Racists: Review of “Progressive Racism” by John Perazzo

David Horowitz’s Progressive Racism exposes them, and names them.
By John Perazzo


It’s unlikely that you’ve ever heard of the late Oseola McCarty (1908-99), but David Horowitz will never forget her—nor how her life story served as a testament to the limitless possibilities that are open to all Americans, regardless of race, if they will simply refuse to view themselves as helpless victims of circumstance. McCarty was a black, uneducated, hardworking, longtime cleaning woman from Mississippi, and Horowitz reflects upon her in his new book, Progressive Racism. The author cites McCarty as a flesh-and-blood refutation of the progressive article-of-faith which maintains that because “America is saturated with racism and oppression,” nonwhite minorities “cannot compete unless the system is rigged in their favor.” “A black woman living in the most racist and poorest state in the union (almost half her life under segregation),” writes Horowitz, was able to earn, from her modest wages, “enough money washing other people’s clothes to save $150,000 and give it away”—to a student scholarship program at the University of Southern Mississippi. “If Oseola McCarty can do that, what American black or white cannot?”

Blending McCarty’s life story into a discussion of his own evolution from radical Marxist to conservative, Horowitz writes: “I still believe in the ‘liberation’ of blacks, minorities, and the poor, as I did in the 1960s. Only now I believe in their liberation from the chains of ‘liberalism’ and the welfare state—from permanent dependence on government handouts, from perverse incentives to bear children out of wedlock, from inverted ethics that imply it is better to receive than to give, and worse, to receive without reciprocity or responsibility and above all without work.” Moreover, Horowitz sounds the trumpet for liberation from “the kindness of those who would cripple us with excuses for attitudes and behaviors that can only hold us back and eventually destroy us,” from “the charity of those who would chain us to their benevolence with lifetime handouts,” and from “the compassion of saviors who secretly despise us, who think we cannot compete on our merits or live up to the moral standards they expect of themselves.” His book is, in short, a clarion call for the rejection of progressive racism and, as a former U.S. president once phrased it, “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

Throughout Progressive Racism, Horowitz dissects the mind of the left and lays it bare for all to see. He reminds us that while “few people outside the halls of academia may think of themselves as Marxists” or pursuers of socialist utopias, “the old socialist left is alive and powerful”—though camouflaged “behind protective labels like ‘populist,’ ‘progressive’ and even ‘liberal’.” He explains that the “contemporary leftist faith” is, like Marxism, centered around the belief that “oppressive ‘alien powers’ (as Marx referred to them)” are the corrupt and illegitimate rulers of any non-socialist society. This accounts for the left’s obsessive and relentless need to portray America as a battleground where noble, morally pure victims must constantly defend themselves against the depredations of a greedy, power-hungry “trinity of oppressors: a class-race-and-gender caste.” And Horowitz warns us that for the left, the promotion of this worldview is not merely a topic for polite conversation or spirited debate. Rather, it is all-out war—“class war”—where society’s “victim” groups are assured that a utopian “world without chains” awaits them at the end of the battle.

Horowitz, who understands the mind of the left as well as anyone alive, explains that the left’s professed desire to “level the playing field” is simply a devious effort to present the ideal of “Marx’s classless society” in “politically palatable terms”; that for the left, “real” equality means not equal opportunity or equal treatment before the law, but rather, “equality of results—which is the communist ideal.” In this model, says Horowitz, inequalities in any sphere of life—income, school grades, standardized test scores, college graduation rates, incarceration rates, unemployment rates, etc.—are condemned as prima facie evidence of “the persistence of covert prejudice” or “institutional racism,” which is “the contemporary left’s version of Marx’s alien power.” And of course, the left’s response to these inequalities is always the same: to mandate an ever-growing array of race-based double standards designed to offset—under benign labels like “affirmative action” and “social justice”—the unfairness that supposedly creates inequality in all its forms. But as history has shown us not only in the U.S. but around the world, such double standards serve only to transform molehills of injustice and grievance into mighty mountains of the same.

Spitting in the eye of the race-grievance industry that the civil-rights movement has pathetically devolved into, Horowitz notes that “the primary reason that African-American children are poor is cultural, not institutional or racial.” “If it were racial,” he reasons, “there would be no (or only a small) black middle class, whereas the black middle class is now the majority of the black population.” Horowitz impugns the race pimps of the modern civil-rights establishment—who are foremost among today’s progressive racists—for reflexively attributing every black ill to their all-purpose bogey-man, white racism, while virtually never mentioning that “statistically speaking, a child born into a single-parent family is five times more likely to be poor than a child born into a family with two parents, regardless of race.” The very deliberate failure of progressive racists to acknowledge this hard and discomfiting fact has bred, among many African Americans, a victim mentality and a permanent sense of bitterness and disconnection from the larger culture. And the progressive racists of our day are delighted by this development, for it has enabled them to cast themselves as the aspiring saviors of society’s “victims,” and to thereby win a permanently reliable voting bloc for the Democratic Party.

Rejecting the left’s contention that Americans, by and large, should be ashamed of their nation’s history, Horowitz emphatically affirms that “the political history of the United States is … in large measure the history of a nation that led the world in eliminating slavery, in accommodating peoples it had previously defeated, in elevating nonwhites to a position of dignity and respect, in promoting opportunities and rights for women, and in fostering a healthy skepticism towards unworthy leaders and towards the dangers inherent in government itself.” Horowitz further explains that “this view of American history is now called ‘conservative,’ but only because leftists currently shape the political language of liberalism and have been able to redefine the terms of the political debate.” “There is nothing ‘liberal’ about people who deny the American narrative as a narrative of freedom,” he writes, “or who promote class, race, and gender war in the name of social progress.”

Also in Progressive Racism, Horowitz bluntly explains that the “moral legacy” of the civil-rights movement led by Martin Luther King “was in large part squandered by those who inherited it after his death.” Those inheritors, says Horowitz, were “racist demagogues” like Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Kwesi Mfume, and Julian Bond. The deliberate failure of such individuals “to condemn black racists, and black outrages committed against other ethnic communities, has been striking in its contrast to the demands such leaders make on the consciences of whites, and the moral example set by King when he dissociated his movement from the racist preachings of Malcolm X.”

We’ve all heard the venomous tirades of grievance mongers like Farrakhan, Sharpton, Jackson, Mfume, and Bond. And we’ve all heard the stern lectures of buffoonish, self-congratulating white progressives who dutifully remind us of the racism that allegedly sits at the very heart of our national character. But we’ve heard precious little about the quiet dignity of Oseola McCarty and others like her. In Progressive Racism, David Horowitz explains exactly who America’s real racists are.

‘The Great Betrayal’ Defends Those Who Won’t Defend Themselves

Review of “The Great Betrayal” by J. Christian Adams
Originally published at 
December 2, 2014

Volume III: the Great Betrayal, the latest installment of David Horowitz’s Black Book of the American Left (Second Thought Books, 2014), does what George Bush wouldn’t do: defend himself from a personalized left-wing onslaught. Horowitz’s book provides an understanding of the order of battle the Left used during the Bush administration to delegitimize Bush’s foreign policy and ultimately destroy Bush’s brand, and why it happened.

How this happened, and Bush’s ineffective response, isn’t just a nostalgic journey through the last decade. Bush’s ineffective response to the Left holds lessons for the incoming Republican congressional majority as well as GOP White House hopefuls who will face the same progressive buzzsaw. But the Great Betrayal also has tough lessons for American voters. Modern political debate isn’t conducted between two camps seeking the same goals through different means. It is a debate between two wholly opposed worldviews, and if Americans fail to realize the true nature of the Left, liberty is threatened. Will voters support candidates who understand this, or pick yet another nominee for President who seems not to understand?

As President Bush fought wars against Islamic terror from 2003-2009, first the institutional Left, and then the institutional Democratic Party fought a rhetorical war of destruction against Bush. “Yet the president has blundered in one particular way that cannot be attributed to internal foes,” Horowitz writes. “He has failed to sell the war adequately to the American people, and to answer the charges coming from his left flank. In the presidential television debates, for example, he chided Senator Kerry for saying the war in Iraq was the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time. ‘This confuses people,’ the President said. It does more than that,” Horowitz chides.

Here we see classic Bush-clan caution with language. Deflecting Kerry’s charge with kind prose might be appropriate at the Kennebunk River Club, but in the modern national debate, something sharper is required. I encountered the same public relations strategy when I worked at the Justice Department during the Bush administration. One favorite tactic included – Responding to the attack will just prolong the story. That approach obviously failed because ten years later the story that President Bush was a failure is still going strong.

Another tactic was – Responding will just lend legitimacy to the story. The Bush administration failed to understand that the media environment was transforming in fundamental and permanent ways. The attack by a left-wing blog, purportedly not worthy of response, became a headline in the New York Times months later. Narrative was germinating amongst the activists on the far left, implanting among the many new left-wing blog sites, and eventually reaching full maturity in the papers and network media the Bush administration took seriously. Instead of confronting the leftist narrative in the seemingly outlandish blogosphere, the Bush administration allowed the attacks to mature unimpaired. What’s worse, when the attacks matured, as it did with Senator Kerry’s attack, Camp Bush seemed more comfortable debating intellectual points than responding with a mighty rhetorical fist in the nose.

Unfortunately, the failure to fully comprehend the nature of the leftist attacks still haunts us. Those unrebutted attacks on Bush defined the 2008 election. “The domestic divisions over both wars were initiated by a radical left whose agendas went far beyond the conflicts themselves,” Horowitz begins the Great Betrayal. “[I]n 2008, the party nominated a senator from its anti-war ranks who became the 44th president of the United States.”

The history described in the Great Betrayal is particularly relevant over the next two years. Many in the Republican Party, particularly in Congressional leadership, seem not to understand the Left’s order of battle. Instead of recognizing the power of the new conservative media, they still seem to care what the New York Timessays. Instead of recognizing the malignant pedigree of the current gang governing in Washington, some still use rhetorical slogans from a vanished time, such as making Washington “work” or “finding common ground.” Many in the GOP fully understand the new media battlespace and the genuine radicalism of the modern Democratic Party. Unfortunately, not everyone does, and the Great Betrayal documents the unashamedly radical anti-constitutional core of the modern Democrats.

The Great Betrayal makes it clear that something more than differences of opinion characterize the dispute between left and right. Congressman Ron Dellums provides one example of many contained in the book. Horowitz takes readers back to the Reagan administration, when a communist regime, with Soviet oversight, was elongating runways on the Caribbean island of Grenada. The threat of a new Soviet client state able to launch bomber and fighter forces so close to America was too much for President Ronald Reagan. American military forces in 1983 invaded and extinguished the threat.

What the Marines found in Grenada is astonishing. Documents seized showed that Dellums had coordinated his domestic opposition to Reagan’s Grenada policy with the communist junta in Grenada, going so far as to provide draft reports for the regime to edit before being published by the House of Representatives. Horowitz describes the materials found on Grenada by the Marines, including a letter from Dellums’ chief of staff Carlottia Scott. The letter to the communist dictator said Dellums was “really hooked on you and Grenada and doesn’t want anything to happen to building the Revolution and making it strong.   . . . The only other person that I know of that he expresses such admiration for is Fidel.”

The emissary for these pro-communist efforts to undermine America? Current Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA). “Another document liberated by the Marines contained the minutes of a Politburo meeting attended by the Communist dictator and his military command. ‘Barbara Lee is here presently and has brought with her a report on the international airport that was done by Ron Dellums. They have requested that we look at the document and suggest any changes we deem necessary. They will be willing to make the changes,’” records the Great Betrayal.

There is no common ground to be found with someone like Barbara Lee. There is no language too strong to condemn the Left’s open collusion with the enemies of America, whether in 1983, 2004 or in the years ahead.

Dellums’ collusion with America’s enemies served as a taste of what was to come. Horowitz notes Dellums was “the first Sixties radical to penetrate the political mainstream.” After colluding with the communist enemies of America, Dellums went on to serve as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, complete with the requisite security clearances.

The Left is still playing the long game against America. Why? Horowitz:

“America is revolutionary because it is a society based on institutions and values that are inclusive, tolerant, democratic, anti-authoritarian, libertarian, and conservative (skeptical of majorities, based on a deeply held moral individualism).”

I would submit it is even worse. There is now a clear and undeniable correlation between secular hostility toward religion and political ideology, excluding the small Muslim population in the United States. Those who tend to believe (or respect) in universal religious truths, tend to be on the right side of the spectrum. Those who demean, attack and deny universal religious truths tend to be leftists. Because America was founded on universal truths regarding the dignity of man, our nation is in the crosshairs domestically, and around the world.

In the past, particularly before the fall of the Berlin Wall, these attacks were directed elsewhere, and not as directly at core American institutions like the Constitution, religious liberty or the family. “What has changed is that the enemy is so nakedly the aggressor against us and not, for example, a hapless Third World people like the South Vietnamese,” notes Horowitz. “What has changed is not that our declared enemy is more evil than the Soviet enemy, but that he is more transparently failing to pay even lip service to ‘social justice’ and other left-wing values as the communists did.”

Horowitz can decode the left in ways natural Republicans cannot. He was of the left. What are unrecognizable sounds to Republicans are familiar melodies from Horowitz’s youth. The Great Betrayal examines the unbroken pedigree of the modern Left, the radical Islamists, those who drove the anti-Bush narrative of the last decade, and the Soviet apologists of a generation ago. Unless conservatives, constitutionalists, and American voters understand what Horowitz describes in the Great Betrayal, a timid approach to this threat may produce disasters anew we can’t yet contemplate.

Review of Progressive Racism (Volume VI) by Mark Tapson

Below is Mark Tapson’s review of David Horowitz’s new book, “Progressive Racism,” which is volume 6 of The Black Book of the American Left, a multi-volume collection of David Horowitz’s conservative writings that will, when completed, be the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to define the Left and its agenda. (Order HERE.) 

In 2008, Barack Obama was elected President of the United States in no small part because of the compelling possibility that this biracial harbinger of hope and change would finally bring America into an epoch of post-racial unity.

But over seven years later, America is on the verge of a race war. Particularly since August 2014, from the shooting of black suspect Michael Brown by white officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson to the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement which has wedged its way into national prominence, racial unrest in this country under Obama’s reign has gone from a tense simmer to a churning boil.

The left want to pin this ugly decline on what they perceive to be the right’s racist refusal to accept a black man as President; but in fact, it is left’s own corrosive, inherently racist, identity politics, spearheaded by Obama himself, that has exacerbated rather than healed our racial divide.

Progressive Racism, the sixth, just-published volume of The Black Book of the American Left, looks at a wide range of David Horowitz’s thoughts on the topic over the course of the last twenty years. Divided into five parts – “The Reds and the Blacks,” on the Marxist roots of progressive racism; “Decline and Fall of the Civil Rights Movement”; “Racial Correctness”; “Reparations for Slavery”; and “Progressive Racism” – the nearly fifty essays in this book expose leftist hypocrisy about race and dismantle the false narrative that the left is fighting for justice and equality against an irredeemably racist right, the guardians of a supposedly systemic white supremacism in America.

In “The Reds and the Blacks,” an essay written in 1999, Horowitz notes that although the left may not embrace the Marxist label anymore, Marx’s vision is alive and well at the core of the “contemporary leftist faith.” A central article of this faith is the notion that blacks and other minorities are “the new stand-ins for Marx’s proletarians,” and they are under the thumb of a “trinity of oppressors” – class, gender, and most of all, race. Thus “racial grievance is the spearhead of the modern radical left,” which couches itself as warriors for social justice while successfully demonizing as racist those “who defend the constitutional framework of individual rights, and attempt to guard it against the nihilistic advocates of a political bad faith.”

In subsequent sections of the book, Horowitz chronicles the degradation of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s civil rights vision into “civil wrongs.” “Progressives support racial division,” reads the title of one piece. In another essay, Horowitz points out that liberals don’t want racial dialogue; they want a racial monologue, in which blacks “express displeasure at a status quo that denies them equality” and whites simply acknowledge their racist guilt. Hate crimes can be multicultural too, Horowitz writes in another piece.

The book features a parade of racial characters and themes such as O.J. Simpson lawyer Johnnie Cochran, affirmative action, Louis Farrakhan, celebrated academic and “affirmative action baby” Cornel West, black-on-black crime and gun control, talk show host Phil Donahue’s “casual racism,” racial McCarthyism on campus, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, perennial race hucksters Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and reparations for slavery, a topic on which Horowitz has devoted a great deal of his energy in the past (see his slim 2002 book Uncivil Wars, for example). In “Ten Reasons Why Reparations Are a Bad Idea,” published in 2000, he sums up this demand as “factually tendentious, morally incoherent and racially incendiary. Logically, it has about as much substance as the suggestion that O.J. Simpson should have been acquitted because of past racism by the criminal courts.”

In the section “Progressive Racism,” Horowitz addresses the left’s agenda to recreate “a race-conscious political culture in which blacks and a handful of designated minorities were singled out as the groups to be racially privileged,” while “whites were made targets of exclusion, suspicion, and disapprobation.” In “The Death of the Civil Rights Movement,” he writes that there is no such movement any longer, and in its place “there is only a self-righteous, fact-denying lynch mob looking for white victims and law enforcement officials to make the targets of their wrath.”

In “Freedom From Race” in the final section, Horowitz takes on the left’s hypocrisy about racial profiling, which leftists favor when it suits their agenda (job placement, school admissions, scholarships, and the like), and which they decry when it does not (in law enforcement and deterring terrorism). This hypocrisy is due to the left’s obsession with power: “Whatever serves their need for power is right; whatever frustrates it is wrong.”

Progressive Racism includes a couple of essays some might find surprising: Horowitz’s controversial essay “Second Thoughts About Trayvon,” for example, in which he sets himself against general conservative opinion about the shooting of black Florida teen Trayvon Martin by “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman, who ultimately was judged to have acted in self-defense. “Is the Zimmerman case really open-and-shut?” Horowitz begins. He goes on to question whether the incident was quite so black-and-white, so to speak, as both the left and the right viewed it: “Might it not be possible that the toxicity of the racial environment also infected Zimmerman, so that he saw in Trayvon a caricature” from the racial and political melodrama surrounding the incendiary case?

Another piece that might run against the grain in some conservative quarters is “An Argument with the Racial Right,” in which Horowitz distinguishes himself from the white “Euro-racialists” of the right who have “surrendered to the idea that the multiculturalists have won” and who demand “a white place at the diversity table.” This runs counter to Horowitz’s brand of conservatism, which is grounded in “the fundamental truth of individualism” and “the good old American ideal of e pluribus unum.”

The book closes on Horowitz’s knockout-punch collaboration with John Perazzo, a lengthy essay titled “Black Skin Privilege and the American Dream,” originally published in booklet form by the Horowitz Freedom Center. That essay concludes that progressive racism – racial privilege enforced by government – “tears at the very fabric of the social order… Building racial bias into the framework of the nation compromises the neutrality of the law that governs us all… and creates a racial spoils system that is the antithesis of the American Dream.” Horowitz correctly identifies the drive to “level the playing field” – the left’s utopian justification for government intervention – as a totalitarian one and a threat to freedom:

In a free society, composed of individuals who are unequal by nature, the highest government good is neutrality in the treatment of its citizens before the law. One standard and justice for all. This is the only equality that is not at odds with individual freedom.

“It is the only equality,” David Horowitz concludes in Progressive Racism, “that can make a diverse community one.”

Mark Tapson is the editor of and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Review of Culture Wars: Volume V by Barbara Kay

Way Stations on Marxism’s ‘long march through America’s institutions’ in the 20th century.
By Barbara Kay

Some months ago, joining an online discussion initiated by a gay Facebook friend on the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, I countered a bitter remark about Ronald Reagan’s “homophobia” and his primary role in causing so many deaths by (as tactfully as possible) observing that gay activists had to bear their share of the blame for the epidemic in having obstructed public health measures to curtail its spread.

The hostile blowback to this remark startled me in its denialist fury, but the salient point here is the sneering tone in which more than one critic on the thread accused me of merely reiterating talking points raised by conservative polemicist David Horowitz. I was taken aback by the rapidity of the redirect to Horowitz in particular, as though nobody else at that time had raised the question of gay-liberationist complicity in maintaining a cone of silence over the elevated HIV risks inherent in unprotected, promiscuous anal intercourse. (Others did, but nobody else with the persistence, straight-talking candor and politically incorrect judgmentalism of Horowitz).

I conceded that my information about the role played by the gay liberation movement in the AIDS crisis was indeed based in Horowitz’s many public criticisms; but since, like all his writings, his accusations were evidence-based, what difference did it make, so long as his information was accurate? This question elicited anger of an even greater ferocity, and my original Facebook friend finally intervened to end the debate.

That was the last time I ever posted a remark on my friend’s page about anything (he didn’t “unfriend me,” a testimony to our real friendship, even though he expressed private sorrow about my reference to Horowitz), but it remains a sobering reminder of the tenacity of ideology over fact on the Left, and the demonization that is the truth-teller’s lot when attempting to set the record straight on identity-politics myths. When stakeholders in one of our culture’s official victim categories have invested themselves in a self-serving narrative, the last thing they want to think about are facts and statistics that threaten the comforting duvet of the rewritten past in which they have chosen to wrap themselves.

Such historical amnesia, arguably the single greatest besetting sin of the Left and the reason leftist illusions are so difficult to dislodge, is only held in check by the dogged, often thankless determination of objective witnesses to history who record unpalatable truths, and then patiently insert them at regular intervals into the slow-grinding mills of the historical archive until a Day of Reckoning forces respectful attention on them.

That day has not yet arrived. The illiberal liberalism known as progressivism remains ascendant in the West, winning battle after battle in the Culture Wars. Every day, more precious freedom to express one’s opinions is lost, as convenient ideological narratives are privileged on university campuses and in the media, while inconvenient truths are fed into the oubliette of Political Incorrectness.

As the little Facebook fracas I unwittingly set off demonstrates in microcosm, there has been no more determined witness to America’s ideological history in the last half century than David Horowitz, a superior intellect and skilled investigative journalist, whose most formidable weapon is his own history as a hard-left political insider turned apostate, and forensic specialist in the pathogens of his own childhood disease.

Or, for another metaphor, Horowitz might be compared to a political archaeologist for whom no potsherd, no coin, no amulet is too imperfect or humble to warrant respectful assessment as a clue in reconstruction of a culture. Horowitz has excavated his life and times with a patience and thoroughness that gives new depth of meaning to the words “second thoughts” in exposing the irrationality, hypocrisy and self-righteousness that characterize the intolerant and punitive mindset that dominates our culture.

Now aging, but with his passion for exposing the Left’s sins undimmed, this happy heretic has for the past few years been re-issuing his essays, speeches and newspaper columns in a series of 10 books under the general title of The Black Book of the American Left: the Collected Conservative Writings of David Horowitz.

With the comprehensive Index that will fill the last book, the series will endure as the definitive prosecution of the Left’s subversion of American freedoms, ideals and willingness to lead in spreading the blessings of democracy that have been the greatest, and sometimes the only, hope for a world struggling to emerge from a variety of totalitarian regimes, from godless Communism to God-drenched Islamism.

Volume Five, Culture Wars, amasses Horowitz’s writings from the 1990s and very early 2000s that explore the Left’s transmogrification of American culture in the second half of the 20th century by means of “the long march through the institutions.” This phrase, coined by Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci, references a dramatic change in Marxist tactics that was conceived in the 1930s, but only took root with a vengeance in the 1970s and ‘80s.

Before then, Marxism had concentrated on the working class – the proletariat – as the great hope for revolution ordained by historical necessity. When that hope failed to materialize, Gramsci and other radical-left intellectuals looked for a new strategy. They decided that the key to power resided not in the means of material production, but in the means of “mental production” – the dissemination of Communist ideology through the educational system, mass media and the arts – but above all through attacks on the bourgeois family, where traditional marriage encouraged personal loyalty, sexual fidelity, and the intergenerational passage of prevailing values and moral absolutes, all anathema to an envisaged cultural utopia in which the state dispensed the only valid truths, the only desirable ends and the only acceptable means for fulfilling them.

The bedroom, rather than the factory floor, became the locus of revolution. Sexual liberation, divorced from procreation, would (did) corrode the family as the stabilizing pillar of society. Over time and under the relentless intellectual assault by Marxist ideologues on the allegedly oppressive institution of marriage, both marriage and two-parent families receded as social norms. That the corrosive promiscuity, banalization of porn, rampant sexually transmitted disease and fatherlessness which followed as night the day came with high physical and social costs became a truth that dared not speak its name.

Horowitz has dared to speak that name and many others in his writings: on sexual politics like AIDS activism vs public health; public media that launder past evils of the Left; gender politics under the iron fist of radical feminism leading to policies that devalue men, discourage love and undermine military unity; and most consequentially, in his writings on the entrenchment of moral and cultural relativism in the universities by the “tenured radicals” with whom Horowitz had militated in his leftist youth.

Relativism was most perniciously applied to the philosophy of multiculturalism, which remarkably spread throughout the entire university network in less than two decades, its trajectory well described in “Up from multiculturalism” (1998). Here Horowitz explains how the liberal arts divisions of the academy were transformed “into crude indoctrination platforms and recruiting centers for the crypto-Marxist left,” through pseudo-academic conduits like Black Studies (which became “African-American” Studies), Women’s Studies and Queer Studies.

These identity-politics hubs had their origins in “area studies,” but the original area studies, like the Russian Institute at Columbia and the Asian Studies Center at Berkeley, had been conceived by the CIA as greenhouses for producing specialists qualified for military intelligence, i.e. graduates whose careers would help America to win the Cold War. The multicultural variants of area studies were bent on subverting the idea of a multi-ethnic, but culturally unitary nation joined by a common adherence to the principle of of individualism and equal rights, and protected by the constitution and a color/gender blind legal system.

The goal of those in identity studies was to deconstruct the melting pot into racial, gender and ethnic components and make “out of one, many.” In these pseudo-disciplines we find the cultural determinism, the rejection of individualism, the centrality of ethnicity or race, and the reduction of all social relationships to negotiations for power that echo themes from 1930s fascism. In the course of its transition, Horowitz says, the left “has degenerated from a Stalinist universalism to a neo-fascist tribalism, which is what multiculturalism and ‘identity politics’ are really about.”

Horowitz wrote this almost 20 years ago. What he describes, accurately, as a gathering force then, has only metastasized in the intervening years, as recent show-trial reminiscent campus events at the University of Missouri and Yale have demonstrated. At Harvard this past Christmas, holiday placemats were given out to students returning home for Christmas, detailing correct conversational talking points to use in response to politically incorrect remarks by relatives (example: if a family members expresses fear that terrorists may be present in the ranks of incoming Syrian refugees, the student is instructed to reply, “Racial justice includes welcoming Syrian refugees.”) Welcome to Mao’s Cultural Revolution, Gramsci-style.

A common lament of progressives is that promoters of the conservative perspective have an advantage over liberal writers, because media conservatives are supported by a vast right-wing complex of wealthy supporters like the Koch brothers. In “Intellectual Class War” (2000), Horowitz puts that canard to rest by comparing sources of partisan financial support. The big three conservative foundations are Olin, Bradley and Scaife. Foundations such as Ford, Rockefeller, Mellon, Carnegie, and Pew, as well as MacArthur, Markle and Schumann all lean left. The MacArthur Foundation alone, Horowitz, notes is three times the size of all three conservative foundations combined.

The fact is that with few exceptions the media is solidly liberal, and it is worth reading “The Leftist Media” (2003) for proof, as well as “Harvard Lies” (2003) to understand the extent to which the liberal political class is materially supported by liberal universities. Most newspapers lean left. Even the Wall Street Journal has only four conservatively skewed pages, its opinion section, but, as I was surprised to learn, in terms of traffic on the worldwide web, the WSJ was rated 3,583 (in 2003) while Slate – progressive in spirit – was ranked second (it helps that it is a Microsoft product). Universities subsidize liberal media in many different ways. Academics write for magazines like The Nation, which according to Horowitz has a university-subsidized editorial board and staff, a perk no conservative magazine can boast.

One of the unique features – and the most difficult to “review” – of Horowitz’s writings are the personal case histories he chronicles to illustrate his themes. They’re hard to review because the fascination lies in the gradual emergence of the point – through the “he said, I responded, he protested, I rebutted” of the affairs – that is impossible to effectively condense. A good example of the type is “Wasserman’s Revenge,” in which Horowitz proves that, as editor of the L.A. Times Review, former radical colleague Steve Wasserman pursued a demonstrably biased policy of marginalizing conservative writers, even those of Horowitz’s stature, and his virtual blacklist was supported by his superiors.

Another worthwhile read along these lines is “PBS Promotes the Black Panthers” (1991), in which Horowitz takes PBS to task for a series of unbalanced documentary films on the 1960s, most misleadingly a one-hour KQED-produced documentary, “Black Power, Black Panthers.” The assiduous laundering by a willfully amnesiac Left of the murders and other criminal depredations of Black Panthers, as any reader familiar with Horowitz’s life and career well knows, ranks high on his personal list of myths in need of a reality check. The KQED “documentary” was, according to Horowitz, a hagiography of Panther veterans that completely ignored the dark side of their well-documented record. In a letter to KQED president Anthony S. Tiano, Horowitz called the film “a disgrace to KQED and a public outrage.”

The Public Broadcasting Act stipulates that current affairs programming must be “strictly fair, objective and balanced.” Yet Horowitz’s well-founded complaint that KQED had ignored this rubric in his appeal to Tiano went nowhere. Ultimately Horowitz gained the opportunity to speak to the KQED board of directors regarding the need for an ombudsman to handle complaints of bias with objectivity. His eloquent speech to the board is included in its entirety, and no review can do it justice. It must be read to fully appreciate the fecklessness of the board in failing to respond to its forensically irrefutable proofs of arrant bias, and to accept Horowitz’s reasonable request to appoint “a permanent committee to handle questions of fairness, objectivity, and balance in KQED’s programming.” Worse, its pusillanimity in failing to respond at all.

PBS has never aired a program celebrating America’s victory over the Soviet Union, even though, as Horowitz points out, it is the most significant (pre-9/11) historical event since World War Two. To this day, PBS documentaries apparently roll on in their wonted merrily left-leaning way. (I say ‘apparently’ because I rarely watch PBS documentaries. But I asked a friend who does make a habit of it if the bias was still as strong in 2016, and he obligingly sent me a tongue-in-cheek pastiche of the kind of films he sees regularly on PBS: “The Right is evil, the Left will save the earth”;  “The Conservatives/Republicans are evil and the Liberals/ Democrats will save the earth”;  “Climate change is a fact and anyone who disputes this is either stupid or uninformed, possibly criminally so and must be wiped from the face of the earth which they are killing by the way”; and “Immigrants describe the horrors of adapting to the rotten, evil, discriminatory North American way of life.” Thanks, Stuart Brannan.)

And if you have ever wondered how then-comedian Al Franken was able to combine an active career in the entertainment world with the labour-intensive research needed to produce his 2003 book, Liars and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, the answer is here. Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government offered Franken a “fellowship,” which provided for a “study group” studying the racism and duplicity of Republicans, to which end he would be provided with the use of fourteen graduate students for both research and ghostwriting.

No such offer would ever be extended rightward, it goes without saying. Horowitz was able to find only five Republicans out of 155 faculty members at the Kennedy School of Government, a disparity very much in line with the ratios in excess of 25-1 at Brown, Wellesley and Wesleyan universities. Between the universities’ lucrative and academic partisanship, and the government’s billion-dollar support for leftist propaganda distributed by PBS and NPR, there was motivation a-plenty for Horowitz to take media gadflyism to the next, more organized and influential level by creating the Center for the Study of Popular Culture in 1988, which later became the formidably multi-faceted David Horowitz freedom Center conservatives know and admire today.

In “Telling It Like It wasn’t” (2002), Horowitz returns to a theme that has never stopped haunting him: the terrible fate of Indochinese peasants, more of whom were killed in three years by the Communists to whom they were handed on a platter by the American retreat from Vietnam “than had been killed on all sides in the thirteen years of the anti-Communist war.” Here his vehicle is a critique of left-wing filmmaker Steve Talbot’s PBS documentary, “1968: The Year That Shaped a Generation,” a homage to the protesters who brought the Vietnam adventure to its ignominious end.

Horowitz demurs from Talbot’s “paean to his revolutionary youth” and its view of his 1968 comrades as a “fable of innocents,” reinforced by a cherry-picked cast of commentators that included self-righteous former activists Todd Gitlin and Tom Hayden (who called the murderous Black Panthers “America’s Viet Cong”), but excluded any dissenters, notably Horowitz himself, who would have offered balance to the film.

Such was the solipsism of Talbot’s memories that he imagined the primary objective of the “system” (‘they’) was “to kill ‘us’.” But, as Horowitz points out, Presidents Nixon and Johnson were actually mainly focused on preventing a Communist takeover of South Vietnam and Cambodia, to which they had committed American power, and to preventing the bloodbath they knew was inevitable if they left. They left because the democratic system worked. They left because the Left successfully mobilized such massive opposition to the war – a war that could have and would have been won and the carnage prevented – that they acceded to the popular will.

The Left wanted America to lose the war, and it did. But at a terrible price to the powerless people who paid it. That the Left has so reflexively applied their penchant for historical amnesia to their complicity in that egregious crime against humanity is a disgrace, and it is thanks mainly to David Horowitz that future generations will have the option of hearing the other side of what is generally considered a story with one side only. (If it were not for Horowitz, would anyone remember that Jane Fonda once said, “I would think that if you understood what communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that we would someday become communist”?)

Perhaps the worst of PBS documentaries, aired in 1989 on WNET, was “Days of Rage,” a 90-minute account of the first Palestinian Intifada that failed to mention Palestinian terrorism even once as a cause of Israel’s tough security measures. It was so unbalanced that WNET Vice-President Robert Kotlowitz was moved to say, “I thought the intifada program was a horror. It was a horror. And I wasn’t happy with having it on the air.” Well, that’s nice. But then he added, “But I’m still happy we made the decision to go with it.” That’s because PBS sees its real mission as social justice, just like the universities, and thinks a lack of balance is the price that must occasionally be paid in order to advance what the Left considers a righteous cause. Not so nice.

Of Horowitz’s several essays on feminism, the most remarkable is “Tailhook Witch-Hunt” (written with Michael Kitchen)” (1993), a long account of the series of incidents at a Las Vegas convention of naval aviators that resulted in careers and reputations destroyed in a “travesty worse than anything that had resulted from the infamous McCarthy investigations.” Since what really happened was a stain on the feminist copybook, the media avoided critical coverage. A good reason to read this essay and get the actual facts of the case.

I began with the AIDS epidemic and want to end with it. For many young people, who have grown up with the image of AIDS as, thanks to drug advances, a manageable disease rather than the death sentence it invariably was in the 1980s, AIDS has lost its power to terrify. The cascade of articles Horowitz wrote when the epidemic was raging and victims were dying in numbers reminiscent of the Bubonic Plague in medieval times may seem to be merely of historic significance now that the existential danger has passed. But to me they are as important, perhaps more, than many of the articles that deal with topics that are still in active play.

I say that because nothing better illustrates the folly, the self-destructive tendencies of human beings in the grip of ideology who, when faced with certain danger and presented with a path to safety, will refuse to take that path if it means admitting their ideology was flawed.

As the epidemic gathered form and strength, and as it became dazzlingly clear that – in the West, anyway – AIDS was overwhelmingly linked to promiscuous anal sex and casual needle-sharing, with gay men far and away the victims most at risk, with risk to sexually prudent heterosexuals statistically nugatory, political correctness took precedence over lie-saving precautions.

Institutions like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were more concerned with their compassionate and progressive attitude to homosexuality, more concerned not to be thought of as anti-gay, than they were to preventing the spread of disease by the tried and true (and the truly compassionate) methods of testing to find the carriers, separating them from those in the path of the disease and reporting findings. In its third decade, the subverted public health system still wasn’t requiring reporting of individual cases or contact tracing or the closing of sex clubs. As for the media, equally keen to be gay-friendly and progressively non-judgmental, Horowitz blasts them with “AIDS is without question the worst-reported story in the history of American journalism.”

And so by 2002, 800,000 Americans were infected with AIDS and roughly 500,000 had died. Those numbers could have been decimated by proper public health protocols, but political correctness overwhelmed common sense and the responsibility to protect. The AIDS epidemic was corpse-strewn proof that Antonio Gramsci’s “long march through the institutions” had succeeded brilliantly.

As I write, Europe finds itself in the grip of a migratory crisis that is producing the social equivalent of AIDS. The pernicious doctrine of multiculturalism, whose Big Lie – that all cultures are equal, and equally assimilable to western societies – has blinded western leaders to the unhappy reality that is playing out in Cologne and other German cities, and in Paris and Scandinavia, as migrants from the Middle East and North Africa indulge the brutally misogynistic shibboleths of their upbringing in what truly are “rape cultures,” bringing rational fears of harm to every woman who rides a subway, walks alone at night or attends a festive public event.

Yet, like Gramsci-powered zombies, the police, the politicians, much of the media and – notably – the feminists have refused to surrender their cultural-equivalent fantasies, and insist that it is racist to lay blame on any particular cultural group, as if what happened in Cologne were equivalent to a fraternity keg party gone sour, and as if it could have happened amongst any agglomeration of people anywhere.

Camille Paglia said, “Everyone who preached free love in the Sixties is responsible for AIDS.” Well, everyone who preached multiculturalism in the Sixties is responsible for the rape of Europe today and possibly the U.S. tomorrow. It is often said that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Unfortunately, it is also true that those who remember history, but are in thrall to an ideology that commands them to ignore history’s lessons, are also doomed to repeat it. And that is why this series is so necessary and so precious. David Horowitz’s writings continue to stand athwart history, give comfort to the intellectually afflicted and re-invigorate the draining spirit of resistance in those who fear we have reached the point of no return.

The Life and Work of David Horowitz: From red-diaper baby to New Leftist to the Left’s most formidable enemy

By Jamie Glazov

A shorter version of this essay was originally published by National Review Online.

David Horowitz was born in Forest Hills, New York, on January 10, 1939, the year of the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact, which shattered the illusions of many Communists and other members of the progressive left. But Horowitz’s school teacher parents, Blanche and Phil, remained steadfast in their commitment to the Party. They had met in Communist meetings in the early 1930s and engaged in what turned out to be a lifelong “political romance,” as David later described it in his autobiography, Radical Son, thinking of themselves as “secret agents” of the Soviet future.

Horowitz grew up in a Communist enclave in Queens called Sunnyside Gardens. As a child, he attended the Sunnyside Progressive School, a pre-kindergarten program the Party had set up and, as an adolescent, spent summers at a Party-run children’s camp called “Wo-Chi-Ca,” short for “Workers’ Children’s Camp.” In 1956, when Horowitz was seventeen, the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev delivered a secret speech in the Kremlin about the crimes of Stalin. The “Khrushchev Report,” as it was subsequently called, was leaked by Israeli intelligence agents to the public, causing a crisis among the faithful. Party members who had previously dismissed claims by their opponents that Stalin was responsible for the deaths of millions as “slander,” now had no choice but to admit that the charges were true. They left the Party in a mass exodus that killed the Communist Party as a force in U.S. political life, although for many like Blanche and Phil Horowitz, it was impossible to give up the socialist faith.

Horowitz was a college freshman at Columbia University when the fallout from the Khrushchev revelations was causing a crisis in his parents’ circle. Opposed to Stalin but not to the socialist cause, he focused on his literary studies, taking courses with Lionel Trilling and other of Columbia’s distinguished faculty members. When he graduated in 1959 he married his college sweetheart, and moved to California where he began graduate studies in English literature at the University of California at Berkeley. There he met other “red diaper” babies who were determined to create a radical politics that would not bear the totalitarian baggage he believed had weighed his parents’ generation down and corrupted their political dreams.

Horowitz became an editor of a new magazine his circle of activists created called Root and Branch, which published essays embodying the political vision of the New Left two years before the Students for Democratic Society published the Port Huron Statement, which is generally regarded as the birth announcement of that movement. In 1962, he became one of the organizers of the first campus demonstration against the Vietnam War (at that point prosecuted by a few hundred advisors JFK had sent to support the Saigon regime), and in that year, while still a graduate student, he published Student, the first book to express the aspirations and worldview of the new radical generation.

Student portrays the university as the symbol of an oppressive corporate culture, foreshadowing the New Left critiques and campus eruptions to come. In dedicating his book to Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black and stressing his commitment to democratic politics, Horowitz also crystallized a difference between the fledgling New Left and the old Communist vanguard. Horowitz criticized the Soviet invasion of Hungary and equated it with America’s intervention in Cuba, and he broke with economic determinism and the idea that socialism had to follow a centralized plan. He knew how far he had strayed from the political world he had grown up in when the book was attacked by a reviewer in the People’s World, the Party’s west-coast organ.

Horowitz saw himself as a dedicated socialist, but some of his intellectual work in the early sixties strayed from dogma in a preview of the second thoughts that would shape his perspective two decades later. His literary studies led him to publish Shakespeare: An Existential View in 1965, a book that follows the Hegelian idea that human existence is defined not just by what actually is, but also by what might be. He mined the work of Shakespeare to explore the tension between this romance of the possible and the skeptical out-look, which constantly reminds us of the brute facts of an existence from which we cannot escape.

In an article for Root and Branch called “The Question About Meaning” Horowitz rejected Marxist determinism and endorsed the view that values are created by human will, and therefore that consciousness also determines being: “Everywhere, value attends commitment. Where men do not address their condition in the fullness of its claim, their experience fails to cross the threshold of significance. For value can exist effectively only where there are men committed to it. It is the commitment of men to the possible, to what is loftier than their attainment, beyond what the present has achieved, that permits the realization of the potential whose seed is already there.”

The idea of a spiritual dimension in which consciousness determines being and not the other way around was a trope from existentialism that contradicted Marxist materialism, even though at the time and in the flush of enthusiasm created by the notion of a “new” left, Horowitz did not realize nor pursue the implications of his ideas.

After publishing Student, Horowitz left California, taking his young family (he and his wife Elissa had a son in 1961) to Sweden—in part because he admired the work of the great Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman. During the year he spent there, he wrote The Free World Colossus, a “revisionist” history of the Cold War. It was one of the first expressions of the New Left’s fixation with the repressive workings of an American “empire,” and was ultimately translated into several languages. In the U.S., The Free World Colossus became a handbook for the growing anti-Vietnam War movement, providing a litany of America’s “misdeeds” abroad—the coups in Iran and Guatemala, the Bay of Pigs and Vietnam—that became a staple of left-wing indictments of America.

Needing a publisher for his manuscript, Horowitz wrote the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and was somewhat surprised to receive a job offer. He spent the years 1964-1967 in London, working for the British philosopher and for the man some saw as Russell’s Rasputin, Ralph Schoenman, but balked at the International War Crimes Tribunal, which Schoenman organized. The Tribunal was headed by Russell, Jean Paul Sartre and other leftwing intellectuals whose goal was to condemn America’s “war crimes” in Vietnam but ignore those committed by the Communists. It was a small but potent sign of the New Left’s ongoing reversion to Old Left politics, which would lead to Horowitz’s eventual exit from the movement

Horowitz had only a casual relationship with Russell, but while in London became close to and profoundly influenced by two European Marxists – Ralph Miliband, whose two sons eventually became leaders of the British Labor Party, and the Polish Trotskyist Isaac Deutscher, the famed biographer of Stalin and Trotsky. Under the tutelage of Deutscher, Horowitz’s writing career as a New Left intellectual flourished. He edited two books,Containment and Revolution and Corporations and the Cold War and wrote Empire & Revolution: A Radical Interpretation of Contemporary History. Empire & Revolution was a reinterpretation of Marxism that offered a New Left perspective on imperialism, communism, and the Cold War. Heavily influenced by Deutscher and Trotsky, it represented Horowitz’s effort to rescue socialism from its Stalinist past and to reformulate a Marxist theory that would account for the horrors of Stalinism and yet still keep the prospect of a revolutionary future alive.

Horowitz returned to the U.S. in 1968 to become an editor at Ramparts magazine, the New Left’s largest and most successful publication, with a circulation of a quarter million readers. A liberal Catholic quarterly when it began in 1962, Ramparts revived the muckraking journalism of the Progressive era, becoming the voice of the anti-war movement. A few months before Horowitz was added to the staff (to provide “more theory,” in the words of then editor Warren Hinckle), Ramparts had caused a national furor with its revelation that the CIA had infiltrated the National Student Association and used it as a “front,” the first of several such exposes.

In 1969 Horowitz and his friend Peter Collier took over Ramparts in a palace coup against its editor Robert Scheer, whose peremptory style of leadership was creating major problems for its overworked staff. In 1973, Horowitz published The Fate of Midas and Other Essays, a collection of essays, which summarized his intellectual development up to that point including his attempts to integrate Keynesian economic theory with traditional Marxist analysis, part of his continuing project to provide the theoretical foundation for an authenticallynew left. The collection also featured personal appreciations of both Deutscher and Russell, and critiques of the violent Weather Underground and SDS.

By 1969, when he and Collier assumed the reins at Ramparts, the New Left was disintegrating into futile acts of “revolutionary” violence and rhetorical narcissism. Disturbed at the direction the movement was taking, but not yet able to contemplate a future as an outsider, Horowitz later said of his predicament: “I pretty well realized even at that time that you couldn’t really remake the world as the left intended without totalitarian coercion. But it was much more difficult to accept the consequences of that realization. For a long time, I simply could not face the possibility that there was no socialist future, that I was not going to be a social redeemer, and that we didn’t have the answers to humanity’s problems—in short, that I wasn’t part of an historic movement that would change the world.”

He thought that he had found an answer to the political paralysis of the early 1970s when he became close to Huey Newton, the leader of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, a group of black radicals that had jumped into the public view by making a point of carrying weapons in public and had been anointed the “vanguard of the revolution” by SDS leaders like Tom Hayden. Horowitz had avoided contacts with the Panthers in their overtly violent phase, but in 1970, Newton announced that it was “time to put away the gun” and turn to community activities. Seeing this as a constructive leftism, Horowitz found himself raising funds to purchase a Baptist church in Oakland’s inner city for the Panthers, which he turned into a “learning center” for 150 Panther children. He bought Newton’s view of incremental, community-based radical change, which seemed particularly salutary when juxtaposed to the nihilism of the Weather Underground’s bombing campaign that was reaching its height at the same time.

In September 1974 he recruited Ramparts bookkeeper, Betty Van Patter, to maintain the accounts of the tax-exempt foundation he had created to manage the Panther school. In December, Betty Van Patter’s bludgeoned body was found adrift in San Francisco Bay. The police were convinced she had been murdered by members of the Panther Party, but local prosecutors were unable to bring an indictment, and the federal government, under siege from the left, also steered clear of this crime, as did the press, which had largely bought into the notion that the Panthers had been targeted for destruction by racist law enforcement.

Entering what would become a ten-year, slow motion transformation from theorist of the left to its worst enemy, Horowitz undertook his own inquiry into the murder. As he collided with denial and threats of retribution if he continued to search, he was forced to confront three stark facts: his New Left outlook was unable to explain the events that had overtaken him; his lifelong friends and associates in the left were now a threat to his safety, since they would instinctively defend the Panther vanguard; and no one among them really cared about the murder of an innocent woman because the murderers were their political friends.

In the mind of the left, even questioning the Panthers’ role in Betty’s fate reflected disloyalty to the cause, since such curiosity could lead to devastating criticism of the Panthers and by extension the left itself, which had embraced the organization and turned its back on the truth that emerged from Van Patter’s death—that rather than a community service organization, Huey Newton had been running a black version of Murder Inc. in the Oakland ghetto.

Forced to look at his own commitments in a way he had never allowed himself before, Horowitz realized that it was the enemies of the left who had been correct in their assessment of the Panthers (just as they had been correct in their assessment of the Soviet Union), while the left had been disastrously wrong. The Panthers were not victims of police repression because they were political militants. They were ghetto thugs running a con on credulous white supporters, and committing crimes against vulnerable black citizens. It was the left and its “revolution” that had conferred on them the aura of a political vanguard, protecting them from being held accountable for their deeds.

As Horowitz considered the cynicism of his comrades’ reaction to Betty’s death, he recognized a familiar historical reality being played out on this smaller scale. Lies were being told to cover up murder. A collusive silence followed. Horowitz couldn’t help asking if there was something inherent in the socialist idea that led to the horrors committed in socialism’s name. He had to face the possibility that his entire life until then had been based on a lie. He had to face the connection between what he had experienced with the Panthers with the crimes his parents’ generation had defended, and thus to accept the fact that there was no “new” left, just a reiteration of the criminality that had been at the core of the left since Lenin – or the Jacobins and Babeuf. As he wrote: “It had been forty years since Stalin’s purges. The victims were dead, their memories erased. They were un-persons without public defenders, expunged even from the consciousness of the living. Those who knew the truth had to keep their silence, even as I had to keep mine. If we actually succeeded in making a revolution in America, and if the Panthers or similar radical vanguards prevailed, how would our fate be different from theirs? Our injustice, albeit mercifully smaller in scale, was as brutal and final as Stalin’s. As progressives we had no law to govern us, other than that of the gang.”

Everything Horowitz had previously believed, everything he had built his political life on, now crumbled before him. In a vignette that Horowitz wrote at the request the New York Times Magazine (which they predictably failed to print when they received it), he recounted the stages of his metamorphosis: “Being at the center of a heroic myth inspired passions that informed my youthful passage and guided me to the middle of my adult life. But then I was confronted by a reality so inescapable and harsh that it shattered the romance for good. A friend— the mother of three children—was brutally murdered by my political comrades, members of the very vanguard that had been appointed to redeem us all. Worse, since individuals may err, the deed was covered up by the vanguard itself who hoped, in so doing, to preserve the faith.”

“Like all radicals,” he continued, “I lived in some fundamental way in a castle in the air. Now, I had hit the ground hard, and had no idea of how to get up or go on.” Just as his progressive friends were indifferent to Betty’s death, so too the left as a whole failed to reckon with the horrifying toll taken by Communist-led and New Left-backed revolutions in Cambodia, Vietnam, and elsewhere. Radicals still considered themselves socialists, but exonerated themselves from socialism’s crimes.

In pursuing answers to Betty Van Patter’s death, Horowitz discovered that the Panthers had murdered more than a dozen people in the course of conducting extortion, prostitution, and drug rackets in the Oakland ghetto. And yet, to his growing bewilderment, the Panthers continued to enjoy the support of the American left, the Democratic Party, Bay Area trade unions, and even the Oakland business establishment. They were praised by prominent writers such as Murray Kempton and Garry Wills in the New York Times and by politicians like then Governor Jerry Brown of California, who was a political confidant of Elaine Brown (no relation), the Panther leader who had ordered Betty’s death.

Notwithstanding the media blackout and the silence of the Panthers’ supporters, the details of their crimes have surfaced over the years principally as a result of Horowitz’s efforts. The first notice of what had happened was a courageous article in New Times magazine by a left-wing journalist named Kate Coleman, whom Horowitz had approached and provided with information. In a 1986 piece in the Village Voice, Horowitz himself identified the Panthers as Betty’s killers, and in Radical Son, which appeared in 1997, Horowitz gave a detailed account of his Panther experience and Betty’s death.

These efforts had an impact even on some of the Panther survivors. In his last televised interview on 60 Minutes, Eldridge Cleaver, the former Black Panther “minister of information,” admitted the brutal ruthlessness of his comrades and himself: “If people had listened to Huey Newton and me in the 1960s, there would have been a holocaust in this country.” Years later, former Panther chairman Bobby Seale also made a public confession about Panther criminality and specifically acknowledged that the Panthers had murdered Betty Van Patter.

But for the most part, progressive keepers of the flame were silent. SDS leader and later California State Senator Tom Hayden and Los Angeles Times journalist Robert Scheer, who worked with the Panthers and promoted their agendas never wrote a word about Panther crimes in the forty-five years after Van Patter’s murder. Former SDS president and later UC Berkeley professor Todd Gitlin’s history of the 1960s fails to acknowledge Panther criminality or mention Van Patter, or the murders of police officers for which the Panthers and other leftist groups were responsible. Like other New Left historians, when Gitlin deals with the Panthers, he presents them as abused victims who sometimes were driven to indefensible (but unspecified) acts because of their persecution. In Kenneth O’Reilly’s Racial Matters: The FBI’s Secret File on Black America, 1960-1972, the Panthers do no wrong and are the targets of legal genocide.

In his essay “Still No Regrets,” Horowitz wrote: “A library of memoirs by aging new leftists and ‘progressive’ academics recall the rebellions of the 1960s. But hardly a page in any of them has the basic honesty—or sheer decency—to say, ‘Yes, we supported these murderers and those spies, and the agents of that evil empire,’ or to say so without an alibi. I’d like to hear even one of these advocates of ‘social justice’ make this simple acknowledgement: ‘We greatly exaggerated the sins of America and underestimated its decencies and virtues, and we’re sorry.’”

The political journey from left to right, of course, had been made before. But Horowitz’s change of heart was of a somewhat different character than the conversions of the ex-Communists who had traveled to the right before him. Unlike the contributors to The God That Failed, for instance, most of whom remained men of the left, Horowitz made a comprehensive break with the radical worldview. Horowitz’s “conversion” was actually his second. The first was his break from communism after Khrushchev’s revelations, while the second was from the socialist idea itself. For the writers of The God That Failed, Stalinism was a cruel socialist aberration. For Horowitz, the roots of Stalinism—and of totalitarianism—lay in socialism itself.

After Betty’s murder, Horowitz ceased his radical activism and his political writing for most of the following decade. Silence about politics became his refuge, as he painstakingly reassessed his life and outlook. He was already involved in a project with Peter Collier to complete a multi-generation biography of the Rockefeller family and this became his cocoon. In 1975, The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty appeared to widespread acclaim, including a front-page rave in the New York Times Book Review. It became a bestseller and a nominee for a National Book Award. The success of The Rockefellers led to a series of other books—The Kennedys: An American Drama (1984), The Fords: An American Epic (1987), and The Roosevelts: An American Saga (1994). These works earned Collier and Horowitz praise from the Los Angeles Times as “the premier chroniclers of American dynastic tragedy.”

During this period, Horowitz also wrote The First Frontier, The Indian Wars & America’s Origins: 1607-1776(1978), a book which remained somewhat within the parameters of the leftist outlook, while attempting to establish the idea that a nation’s character, as defined in its early history, shaped its destiny. While he was at work on this book, events in Southeast Asia were writing a final chapter to the narrative that had defined his own generation. After the Communist victory in Vietnam in 1975, the North Vietnamese began executing tens of thousands of South Vietnamese and setting up “re-education camps” where ideological offenders were held in “tiger cages.” The general repression prompted an exodus of two million refugees, unprecedented in the history of Vietnam. Hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese boat people perished in the Gulf of Thailand and in the South China Sea in their attempt to escape the Communist new order that the efforts of the New Left had helped to bring about.

In Cambodia, the victory of the Communists led to the slaughter of some three million Cambodian peasants. More peasants were killed in Indochina in the first three years of Communist rule than had been killed on both sides during the thirteen years of the anti-Communist war. Horowitz later reflected on the cause of these events: “Every testimony by North Vietnamese generals in the postwar years has affirmed that they knew they could not defeat the United States on the battlefield, and that they counted on the division of our people at home to win the war for them. The Vietcong forces we were fighting in South Vietnam were destroyed in 1968. In other words, most of the war and most of the casualties in the war occurred because the dictatorship of North Vietnam counted on the fact Americans would give up the battle rather than pay the price necessary to win it. This is what happened. The blood of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, and tens of thousands of Americans, is on the hands of the anti-war activists who prolonged the struggle and gave victory to the Communists.”

As the Indochinese tragedy unfolded, Horowitz was struck by how the left refused to hold itself accountable for the result it had fought so hard for—a Communist victory—and how it could not have cared less about the new suffering of the Vietnamese in whose name it had once purported to speak. He became increasingly convinced, as his friend and colleague Peter Collier had tried to persuade him, that “the element of malice played a larger role in the motives of the left than I had been willing to accept.” If the left really wanted a better world, why was it so indifferent to the terrible consequences of its own ideas and practices?

In 1979, Horowitz wrote a column for the Nation, which its editors titled, “A Radical’s Disenchantment.” It was the first public statement by a prominent New Leftist that the New Left had anything to answer for. “A Radical’s Disenchantment” described his disillusion with the left, referring to many of the horrors that socialism had produced. Horowitz also confronted the silence with which the left had met these horrors, ending the piece with questions he had been asking himself: “Can the left take a really hard look at itself—the consequences of its failures, the credibility of its critiques, the viability of its goals? Can it begin to shed the arrogant cloak of self-righteousness that elevates it above its own history and makes it impervious to the lessons of experience?” He already knew, however, what the answer was.

In November 1984, Horowitz turned another corner. He cast his first Republican ballot for Ronald Reagan. Shortly thereafter he learned that Peter Collier had done the same. On March 17, 1985, he and Collier wrote a front-page story for the Sunday magazine of the Washington Post, “Lefties for Reagan,” and explained their vote by describing what they had seen and done while fighting against “Amerikkka” as part of the left. As they expected, the article inspired vitriolic responses from their former comrades and forced them to re-enter the political arena to wage what became a two-person war against the 60s left.

Dissecting the left’s hypocrisy now became a Horowitz métier. As a former believer, Horowitz could attack the progressive myth with the familiarity of an insider. He and Collier delivered their first stunning blow in Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the Sixties, a 1989 book in which they analyzed the legacy of the New Left and its corrosive effects on American culture. Destructive Generation represented the first dissent from the celebration of the 1960s that had been issuing forth in volume after volume from publishing companies now edited by former New Leftists. For years Destructive Generation remained both the definitive and the only critical work on the radicalism of the decade. In a summary indictment, the authors charged that the left had steadfastly refused to make a balance sheet, let alone a profit and loss statement, of what it had done. Progressives who preened their “social conscience” showed no concern for the destructive consequences of their acts on ordinary people like the Vietnamese and Cambodian peasants who had been slaughtered in the wake of America’s panicked withdrawal from Vietnam.

Before Collier and Horowitz turned on the left, they had enjoyed front-page reviews in the New York Times Book Review and bestseller status for their multi generational biographies. But Destructive Generation marked their eclipse in the literary culture. As Horowitz later recalled, “Our books, once prominently reviewed everywhere, were now equally ignored. With a few notable exceptions, we became pariahs and un-persons in mainstream intellectual circles.” The last review of a Horowitz book in The New York Review of Books was in 1985, the very spring that Collier and Horowitz announced they had voted for Ronald Reagan.

Horowitz’s next work, Radical Son, published in 1997 was powerful enough that even his enemies had to admit that it called up comparisons to Whittaker Chambers’ Witness and Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon. George Gilder called it “the first great American autobiography of his generation.” In this memoir Horowitz provided an account of his life, the details of which were already being distorted by his political enemies, and described the intellectual process of his political change of heart. Like Chambers’ classic, Radical Son is an eloquent and riveting narrative, providing a cogent moral and intellectual basis for the changes it describes. It engages in a fearless examination of self, which was almost unprecedented in political memoirs, when Horowitz’s book appeared. Going further than any previous narrative in demonstrating how deeply the Marxist fairy tale is entwined with the character and psychology of its believers, Horowitz reveals the seductive power of the progressive faith. He shows how the socialist lie reaches into every corner of a believer’s soul, and why the break from radicalism can be a personally devastating decision.

Horowitz’s next book, The Politics of Bad Faith, is a collection of six essays published in 1998 that provided what he called “an intellectual companion piece” to Radical Son—analysis counterpointing its narrative. A central theme of the book is the refusal of radicals to accept what the implications of the collapse of communism are for the future of socialism. “For radicals, it is not socialism,” Horowitz writes, “but only the language of socialism that is finally dead. To be reborn, the left had only to rename itself in terms that did not carry the memories of insurmountable defeat, to appropriate a past that could still be victorious.” Thus leftists now call themselves “progressives,” and even “liberals.”

The second chapter, “The Fate of the Marxist Idea,” is one of the most powerful essays Horowitz has written. An autobiographical segment, it takes the form of letters to two former radical friends. The first, called “Unnecessary Losses,” is to Carol Pasternak Kaplan, a friend since childhood who refused to attend his father’s memorial service because Horowitz had abandoned the socialist cause. (As Horowitz notes, “In the community of the left—it is perfectly normal to erase the intimacies of a lifetime over political differences.”) The second letter was to the English socialist Ralph Miliband. Titled “The Road To Nowhere,” it examined the Soviet experience, the refuted positions of the New Left, and the bad faith arguments through which leftists proposed to rescue their blighted dreams: “Wherever the revolutionary left has triumphed, its triumph has meant economic backwardness and social poverty, cultural deprivation and the loss of political freedom for all those unfortunate peoples under its yoke. This is the real legacy of the left of which you and I were a part. We called ourselves progressives; but we were the true reactionaries of the modern world.”

The fifth essay in the book, “A Radical Holocaust,” examined how the post-Communist left had revived the Marxist paradigm applying it to sexual orientation, gender, and race. Horowitz calls this maneuver “kitschMarxism” and in this chapter reveals how the left has revived the destructive force of the original paradigm as well. In “A Radical Holocaust,” Horowitz shows how the theory of “gay liberation” prompted leaders of the gay community to oppose and undermine proven public health methods for combating communicable diseases and in the process produced a public health disaster: “I think that the AIDS catastrophe is a metaphor for all the catastrophes that utopians have created. It’s about the delusion that thinking can make it so, that an abstract idea can be imposed on reality, that the laws of nature can be defied with impunity. The story of the AIDS epidemic reveals how powerful the leftist idea remains and how far reaching is its impact.”

Horowitz’s next book, Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes, published in 1999, quickly became the most controversial work the author had written. It addressed the new cultural dimensions of the radical cause, specifically the determination to make race function the way class had in the traditional Marxist paradigm. White males were demonized as an ersatz ruling class responsible for every social disparity between racial groups and genders. In the absence of actual racists in university admissions offices, for instance, the left created a myth—“institutional racism”—that was alleged to explain all disparities in academic test scores and university admissions. The creation of this myth was essential to keep alive “the discredited Marxist idea that an alien power separates the citizens of democratic societies into rulers and ruled, the dominant race and the races that are oppressed.” Behind the idea that all blacks are victims all the time, according to Horowitz, lies the desire to perpetuate the failed Marxist vision and the social war it justifies.

In an article in Hating Whitey titled “Up From Multiculturalism” Horowitz analyzes another post-Communist radical doctrine. Like socialism, “multiculturalism [is] an invention of well-fed intellectuals,” he writes. “It did not well up from the immigrant communities and ethnic ‘ghettoes’ of America as an expression of cultural aspirations or communal needs. Instead it was manufactured by veterans of the Sixties left, who had established a new political base in the faculties of the universities.” In the new multicultural version of the radical vision, racial and ethnic status replace class status as a political trump card. Horowitz points out that emphasizing ethnic identity over class solidarity situates the multicultural left squarely in the tradition of classic European fascism. Intellectually, he observes, the multicultural left “owes more to Mussolini than to Marx.”

In 1996, Horowitz, who had gradually embraced the cause of conservatism, was approached by a disaffected Democratic strategist who wanted to put his talents at the service of Ward Connerly’s campaign for a Civil Rights Initiative in California. The Initiative would ban racial preferences, the discriminatory laws and regulations functioning as a “progressive” version of Jim Crow, which had been reintroduced by the left into the American political framework in a slap against the civil rights movement and King’s vision of a polity where people were judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. The strategist was appalled by what he saw as his party’s defection from the principles of the movement he had supported as a young man, and he saw in Horowitz a kindred spirit. At their first meeting the strategist said to Horowitz, “Your side only wins when Democrats screw up big time. And that is because your position is always negative – against the policies of the left. You don’t give people something to vote for.”

This began a relationship that resulted in a new theme of Horowitz’s work – advice to conservatives on how to win the electoral battle and, more broadly, how to combat progressive ideas with a positive vision. Horowitz’s first effort in this vein was a pamphlet that appeared in 2000 in time for the election called “The Art of Political War,” later expanded into a book called The Art of Political War and Other Radical Pursuits (2002). George Bush’s campaign manager, Karl Rove, described the pamphlet as “the perfect guide to winning on the political battlefield.”

In The Art of Political War Horowitz observes that progressives have inverted Clausewitz’s famous dictum and treat politics as “war continued by other means.” By contrast, conservatives approach politics as a debate over policy. Conservatives generally and Republicans in particular, either fail to understand that there is a political war taking place, or disapprove of the fact that there is. Conservatives approach politics as a series of management issues, and hope to impose limits on what government may do. Their paradigm is based on individualism, compromise, and partial solutions. This puts conservatives at a distinct disadvantage in political combats with the left, whose paradigm of oppression and liberation inspires missionary zeal and is perfectly suited to aggressive tactics and no-holds-barred combat.

At the center of America’s imaginative life is what Horowitz calls “the romance of the underdog.” America loves those who struggle against the odds. Consequently a party that presents itself as a champion of the vulnerable and enemy of the powerful has an immediate edge in the political arena. Of course, when Democrats do this it is an expression of rank hypocrisy. Democrats and political leftists control the governing councils and public schools of every major inner city in America and have for fifty years or more. They are thus responsible for everything that is wrong with inner city America that policy can affect. Horowitz’s political strategy is to turn the tables on the left, framing “liberals” and “progressives” as the actual oppressors of minorities and the poor.

In How To Beat the Democrats and Other Subversive Ideas (2000), Horowitz returned to these themes, attempting to reformulate and clarify the ideas laid out in “The Art of Political War,” and offer them as advice to Republicans. He accompanied them with specific recommendations for Republicans on framing the issues. The new book collected a sampling of the 100 or so position papers that he was to write during the 2000 presidential campaign in a bi-weekly newsletter he called “The War Room,” which then House Majority Leader Tom DeLay posted on his congressional website. But the campaign caused Horowitz to realize that while Republicans were generous with praise for his advice, they were temperamentally unsuited to act on it.

In the spring of 2001, Horowitz put his own advice to the test by launching an effort to oppose the left’s campaign to secure reparations for slavery 137 years after the fact as “bad for blacks and racist too.” Horowitz conducted his opposition by taking out ads in college newspapers across the country – or attempting to. Forty college papers refused to print the ad, generating a furor over free speech. Donald Downs, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin summed up the reaction: “The Horowitz controversy has laid bare the cultural and intellectual splits that rivet the contemporary university.” No Republicans and – with the notable exceptions of Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams – few conservatives stepped forward to support Horowitz who was attacked by the left as a “racist” and whose speaking events were disrupted by protesters. At one appearance at the University of California Berkeley, university officials assigned 30 armed guards to protect Horowitz, who subsequently – and for the rest of his career – was unable to speak on campuses without a security presence.

Because the protests against the anti-reparations ads involved gross violations of free speech – at Brown University leftists destroyed an entire issue of the Brown Daily Herald after its editors published the ad – Horowitz’s campaign became the subject of 400 news stories. The attacks of the left made him a widely recognized conservative figure. In the fall, Horowitz published an account of these events, which he called Uncivil Wars. In addition to providing a narrative of his campaign, the book made the case against reparations and provided a vivid portrait of the American campus under the reign of political correctness.

The reparations campaign exposed the hostility of American campuses to ideas that challenged the orthodoxies of the left. One consequence of this was the absence of any university interest in Horowitz’s own work. To provide a guide to the growing corpus of his writings, he decided to publish a representative selection of his articles and excerpts from his books along with a bibliography of his writings to date. An essay-length intellectual biography by this author served as its introduction. The book was titled, Left Illusions: An Intellectual Odyssey and was published in 2003.

The reparations campaign had revealed how a small minority of activists were able to dominate the campus debate by calling racists anyone who stepped forward to challenge their views. The anti-reparations ads that Horowitz placed contained “10 Reasons” for the view that reparations were a bad idea at a time when there were no slaves and the majority of the population were descendants of Americans who either opposed slavery or arrived after it was abolished. But the spring term of the anti-reparations campaign went by without a single response by Horowitz’s critics to the arguments and evidence presented in his ad. Only epithets and character slanders were hurled in Horowitz’s direction. Even though the claims of the ad were on firm historical grounds, not a single university professor with expertise in American slavery was willing to incur the risks associated with confirming those facts because it would entail opposing the campus left, and incurring similar insults. In other words in the current environment of campus “political correctness,” issues like reparations for slavery simply could not be rationally addressed.

Horowitz viewed this as a troubling commentary on the state of the contemporary university and of university authorities who were afraid to enforce an educational decorum allowing both sides of controversial issues to be addressed in a campus setting. Horowitz’s encounters with students on more than 100 campuses he had visited in the previous decade made him aware that the intimidation and suppression of conservative views extended to the classroom itself where conservative ideas were ridiculed by faculty and fellow students and conservative texts were virtually absent from required reading lists.

As a result, in 2002 Horowitz launched a “Campaign for Fairness and Inclusion in Higher Education” to foster a pluralism of ideas and viewpoints, and in the spring of 2003 drafted an “Academic Bill of Rights” based on the classic 1915 statement on academic freedom by the American Association of University Professors. Over the next seven years Horowitz attempted to persuade universities to adopt a code to insure that students would have access to views on more than one side of controversial issues and that faculty would conduct themselves professionally in the classroom, and refrain from using their authority to indoctrinate students in partisan agendas. To advance these principles Horowitz wrote four books analyzing the situation he encountered on the several hundred campuses he visited during the seven years of his campaign: The Professors (2006), Indoctrination U(2008), One-Party Classroom (2009), and Reforming Our Universities (2010).

Of these texts, The Professors received the widest attention because it exposed a radical culture of academics who had corrupted the institutions of higher learning, using their faculty positions as platforms for political rather than scholarly agendas. Horowitz described this politicization of the classroom as the end of the ethos of the modern research university in liberal arts faculties. It represented, he wrote, a reversion to the doctrinal institutions of the 19th Century when colleges were training centers for the clergy, and indoctrination was standard academic procedure. No previous work had taken on the radical subversion of the university as directly and forcefully as The Professors, which is why the book became such a target of attack by the academic left, with the president of the American Association of University Professors going so far as to urge others not to read the book.

Indoctrination U unveiled the ferocity of the opposition to Horowitz’s campaign as leftist critics smeared it as a “blacklist” and “McCarthyism” and a “witch hunt.” Notwithstanding the fierce opposition it encountered, Horowitz’s campaign had some significant achievements. In June 2005 the American Council on Education, representing over 1,800 colleges and universities, issued a formal statement declaring that, “academic freedom and intellectual pluralism were core principles of an American education.” A Brookings Institution report made this comment: “Perhaps the peak of David Horowitz’s national influence came in June 2005 when a coalition of twenty-eight mainstream national education associations, led by the American Council on Education, approved a statement on academic rights and responsibilities that blended traditional concepts of academic freedom with an endorsement of intellectual pluralism and student rights as championed by Horowitz.”

In Horowitz’s view, however, the American Council’s statement did nothing to actually change the academic curriculum or ensure that it reflected the pluralistic values that the statement endorsed. In 2009, as his campaign entered its final year, Horowitz co-authored One-Party Classroom with Jacob Laksin, which examined more than 170 curricula from 12 major universities that could only be described as courses designed to indoctrinate students in leftwing politics. The problem remained what it had been at the outset: how to get university authorities to require liberal arts faculties to behave professionally in the classroom, to teach their students how to think and not tell them what to think. Horowitz concluded his campaign with a comprehensive account of his efforts, Reforming Our Universities, which was also a richly textured description of American institutions of higher learning and the forces within those institutions that had politicized the academic curriculum and were prepared to defend their “right” to indoctrinate students in their political agendas.

Having been part of a progressive movement that identified with America’s enemies, Horowitz was struck by the Democrats’ reluctance to stop Saddam Hussein’s aggression during the first Gulf War when only 10 Democratic senators supported the coalition that George H.W. Bush had assembled to reverse Iraq’s annexation of Kuwait. This was a sign of the commanding role the left had assumed in the Democratic Party. Since Saddam Hussein was one of the true monsters of the 20th Century and did not justify his atrocities by appeals to “social justice,” it also revealed the disturbing lengths to which the left would go to act on its hostility to America.

While he was writing his account of the reparations controversy in the summer of 2001, Horowitz was diagnosed with prostate cancer. In October, shortly after the 9-11 attacks, he underwent a radical prostatectomy and radiation treatments to remove the cancer. While recovering from the operation, Horowitz wrote a long essay titled, “How the Left Undermined America’s Security Before and After 9/11,” which traced the leftward march of the Democratic Party and its growing defection from the War on Terror. This essay became the background to two important books on the war in Iraq and the continuing transformation of the Democratic Party into a party of the left.

The first of these volumes, Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left (2004), described the events leading up to the invasion of Iraq and set out to explain how a secular left that championed Enlightenment values had aligned itself with the Islamist enemies of those values and the West. Unholy Alliance also described how the radical left, which organized massive demonstrations against the war, had dramatically influenced the course of Democratic policy and caused a break in the bi-partisanship that had characterized American foreign policy over the previous half century.

Unholy Alliance was the first book to trace the evolution of American radicalism from its support for the Soviet bloc to its opposition to the War on Terror and explain how the left and Islamist movements share a common mindset that creates a bond between them. Both ideologies are utopian enterprises that require the suppression of dissent and/or the eradication of the opposition to achieve their vision of paradise on earth – the classless utopia for the left, and the Sharia utopia for the Islamists. For the left, America is the hated seat of global capitalism and individualism. For Islamists, America is the hated seat of Western values, a bulwark against the global domination of Islam and a wellspring of spiritual iniquity. Consequently, both of these destructive movements have a shared conception of, and contempt for, the “Great Satan” – America – which they identify as the primary source of evil in the world and find common ground in their desire to annihilate or “fundamentally transform” it.

Five years later Horowitz followed Unholy Alliance with a second volume written with Ben Johnson called, Party of Defeat: How Democrats and Radicals Undermined America’s War on Terror Before and After 9-11 (2008). Eighteen Republican senators and congressmen endorsed the book including the ranking members of the committees on intelligence, foreign relations and military affairs in both houses. Party of Defeat examined in detail what Horowitz was later to call “the great betrayal” – the unprecedented defection of a major political party from a war in progress that it had voted to authorize and then proceeded to sabotage. The authors provided the historical background of the Democratic Party’s defeatism, tracing its antipathy for America back to the Vietnam War and George McGovern’s notorious 1972 “America Come Home” campaign, which like the Wallace progressives in 1948, identified America’s resistance to Communism as the problem rather than the Communist aggressors themselves. The book is notable for its debunking of the major Democratic arguments against the war, and the detail it provides of the Democrats’ treachery in destroying intelligence operations, undermining morale and conducting a psychological warfare campaign “worthy of the enemy” against America’s war effort.

After the completion of Unholy Alliance in 2004, Horowitz turned his attention to an Internet project that would provide conservatives with a profile of the left, which he believed was effecting dramatic changes in the political landscape. “, which went online in February 2005, was an encyclopedia of the left that provided a map of its networks, funding, personnel and agendas, both overt and covert. The influence of “Discover the Networks” in shaping conservatives’ understanding of the left and making it possible for conservative journalists and authors to identify the thousands of organizations of the left is difficult to calculate. But there is no question that it has been enormous, particularly in providing an indispensable resource for journalists and other writers in identifying the constituents of the Islamist jihad, and describing the radical networks around Barack Obama and the Democratic Party leadership. Stanley Kurtz, the author of Radical-in-Chief, a seminal book on the president’s political career has said that he “could not have written Radical-in-Chiefwithout the information provided in Discover the Networks.” Aaron Klein’s and Paul Kengor’s work on Obama are similarly indebted. The rationale for this database and the uproar surrounding its publication are examined in Volume 2 of this series, Progressives.

In pursuing his efforts to document the left’s infiltration and eventual control of the Democratic Party, Horowitz’s attention was drawn to a recently formed network of funders and apparatchiks that the Washington Post had already described as a “shadow party,” taking a term from the British political lexicon to describe the government-in-waiting of the opposition party. In this case, however, the government-in-waiting was being formed inside the opposition party itself. With author Richard Poe, Horowitz published The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party (2006). Their book was an exposé of how billionaire George Soros had put together a coalition of wealthy funders, radical activists and political apparatchiks which quickly gained a lock on the Democratic Party’s political apparatus and began a behind the scenes effort to exclude moderates and to shape party policies in a radical direction. Horowitz had already described the ideological influence the left exerted on the Democratic Party; now he unveiled the mechanism by which it was implemented.

Following the publication of The Shadow Party, Horowitz continued this work with another book, this time co-authored with Jacob Laksin: The New Leviathan: How the Left-Wing Money Machine Shapes American Politics and Threatens America’s Future (2012). Drawing on the Discover the Networks database, the new book documented and analyzed what no other work of scholarship had even noticed – that the left had successfully built the richest and most powerful political machine in American history. The authors’ findings upended the conventional wisdom that conservatives and the Republican Party represent the rich and powerful, while progressives and the Democrats are “the party of the people.” To the contrary, their research proved beyond a doubt that the financial assets of the left directed at policy formation actually exceed by a factor of ten and more those of the right and are being invested in “transforming” America and reorienting it in a socialist direction. The New Leviathan reveals how a powerful network moves radical ideas like Obamacare from the margins of the political mainstream and makes them the priority agendas of the Democratic Party. In so doing, this network has shifted the national policy debate dramatically to the left and reconfigured the nation’s own political agenda. One chapter of the book, “The Making of a President,” documents how Barack Obama’s entire political career was shaped, funded and made possible by the financial and political network they describe.

In 2014, Horowitz resumed his strategic lessons for Republicans and conservatives in Take No Prisoners: The Battle Plan for Defeating the Left, which is a summary statement of his twenty years of thinking about political warfare. According to Horowitz, conservatives fail to employ a political language that speaks to voters’ emotions, and fail to highlight the moral imperative of opposing policies that are destructive to the poor and the vulnerable, and ultimately to all Americans. Picking up from where The Art of Political War left off, Horowitz analyzes the defeat Republicans suffered in the 2012 presidential election in which they were beaten by an incumbent who had only a failed record on which to run. Horowitz describes how this outcome is directly related to the fact that progressives and conservatives see the world differently. Progressives view themselves as social redeemers, as missionaries seeking to transform the world, which inspires their will to win. Conservatives are pragmatists whose goals are specific, practical and modest by comparison. But it is only by embracing an inspiring mission as defenders of freedom and champions of the victims of progressive policies that conservatives can confront the fire of the left with a fire of their own.

In 2012 Horowitz published what with one large exception was to be a final episode in the work of the second half of his life—to understand the pathology of the left, its hatred of America, and its destructive agendas. He gave it the title Radicals: Portraits of a Destructive Passion (2012). Among its six chapters is a portrait of his friend, Christopher Hitchens, whose incomplete second thoughts about his radical commitments becomes for Horowitz a measure of what it means to be of the left, and what it means to have left the left. This poignant rendering of both the man and his evolving ideology explores the seamless fabric joining radical ideas and lives, and the destructive consequences of both.

The large exception alluded to is the series of nine volumes called The Black Book of the American Left, of which this is the final installment. It can be said with reasonable certitude that this is the most complete, first-hand portrait of the left as it has evolved from the inception of the Cold War through the era of Barack Obama and the Islamic jihad that is likely to be written.

Along with his political books, Horowitz began publishing in 2005 a series of four volumes of philosophical memoirs that reveal a different side of his personality and writing. Always known for his strong cerebral prose, in these volumes he shows a lyrical introspection that is unexpected. All four books engage issues of mortality and faith, and along the way show how the progressive quest for perfect justice, as Horowitz puts it, “is really an attempt to deny the permanence of injustice of which death is the exemplary case.”

The first of these volumes, The End of Time (2005), is all at once a meditation on the religious angst of the 17thCentury physicist and philosopher Blaise Pascal, a journal of his own battle with cancer, a look into the mind of 9/11 terrorist Mohammed Atta and the story of a romantic relationship that Horowitz never expected to have. Literary critic Stanley Fish wrote of the book: “Most memoirs only mime honesty. This one performs it. Beautifully written, unflinching in its contemplation of the abyss, and yet finally hopeful in its acceptance of human finitude. And as a bonus, it gives us a wonderful love story.”

The second book in this series, A Cracking of the Heart (2009), is a moving tribute to his beloved daughter, Sarah, who died in her San Francisco apartment in 2008 at the young age of 44. Sarah was born with Turner Syndrome, a disability that often causes shortness of stature and progressive deafness, both of which affected Sarah. It also produced arthritis in one of her hips, which caused her pain, significantly limited her mobility and caused her to walk with a limp. It also produced a heart condition, associated with early death. Yet A Cracking of the Heart is witness to an extraordinary human being who rejected self-pity and complaint, and who chose instead to live a life of perseverance, hard work and independence. A talented writer and Good Samaritan, Sarah refused to allow these obstacles to stifle her dreams. With exceptional bravery and magnanimity she confronted the forces that tried to crush her. Horowitz reveals how, from an early age, while facing the cruel limitations imposed on her, she showed a tremendous compassion for the disadvantaged, became active in the Turner Syndrome Society, taught autistic youth, protested capital punishment, fed the homeless, and sojourned to Israel, where she twice climbed Masada. She also traveled to El Salvador to build homes for poor Catholics, to Mumbai to help sexually abused Hindu girls, and to Uganda to teach English to the 3-5 year olds of the Abayudaya, a tribe of African Jews, with whom she lived in mud-floor huts with no electricity or running water.

While celebrating Sarah’s life, A Cracking of the Heart movingly examines the tensions between father and daughter arising from their political differences and also the conflicts that arose naturally from a parent’s concern and a daughter’s fierce quest for independence. We are privy to their ongoing dialogue and eventual reconciliation, and to a father’s unassuageable grief, and brutal encounter with the finality of death.

Horowitz describes the next work in this meditative series as “a summa of my life’s work.” Subtitled “The Search for Redemption in this Life and the Next,” A Point in Time (2011) is about the all too human fear that our existence will vanish into oblivion – and the consequences of coping with this fear by acting as gods and trying to remake the world. It begins with reflections on the meditations of Marcus Aurelius and moves on to the 19thCentury novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky and his prescient vision of the totalitarian state.

In his fourth book of reflections on faith and mortality, You’re Going to Be Dead One Day: A Love Story, Horowitz takes us on an inspirational journey inside his personal world, sharing his remarkable and unlikely love story with his wife April, his relationship with his children, his philosophical reflections about gratitude and perseverance in the face of adversity and illness and his evolving thoughts on death. This book is about the choice each of us faces—whether to embrace this world we are given and make the most of it, or to live a life of bitterness (the fate of Horowitz’s own father) because we cannot live in a world of utopian fantasy that does not exist.

In You’re Going to Be Dead One Day, we see how far Horowitz has escaped from his father’s shadow and from the destructive discontent that lies at the heart of the radical creed. While looking unflinchingly at human limitations and the death that awaits us all, his story is nonetheless one of tenuous hope, even joy. His body may be failing him, but his spirit is strong; all his multiplicity of experience, belief and disillusion, has left him with one ineradicable truth: that the here and now is to be treasured; that death, while a dark and formidable word, does not carry the day. The last word is love—for his wife, his children, his friends and animals. This is a book in which Horowitz has fully followed Wordsworth’s ideal of recollecting one’s life in tranquility.

So how, finally to measure David Horowitz’s life and work? This question is complicated by the fact that in having second thoughts about the left and its catastrophic impact on American life, Horowitz has alienated the literary and cultural establishment that showered him with acclaim from the moment he burst onto the scene as one of the leaders of his radical generation. During the second half of his life he has worked against the grain as an outsider whose literary output, prodigious by any standard, has been largely ignored by the progressive cultural establishment except when it was being condemned in an effort to place it beyond the pale of respectability.

Yet despite the effort to deprecate and diminish him, Horowitz has succeeded in his main task of exposing the left’s agenda and decoding the way it seeks to control American culture and politics. He has never refused to do battle with his critics. But they have for the most part refused to do battle with him, launching hit and run attacks from the institutional heights of the mainstream culture, which made them difficult to respond to since Horowitz was denied access to that platform. To cite a few examples: when Garry Wills made an ignorant but damaging aside in a Time magazine cover story on the Sixties to the effect that Collier and Horowitz were merely “marginal” figures in the decade, the magazine refused to print a response. An irresponsible slander by Time columnist Jack White, who called Horowitz a “bigot,” was allowed to stand, despite the embarrassment of Time’s editor, who was familiar with Horowitz’s work and to whom Horowitz appealed. No letter to the editor was allowed to answer a malicious insinuation by Slate editor-in-chief, Jacob Weisberg in the New York Times Magazine. And so forth.

Rather than entering a tough but reasonable dialogue, Horowitz’s critics have often chosen contemptuous hauteur. When Horowitz dissected some writing by MIT Professor Noam Chomsky, for instance, Chomsky responded in an online venue, “I haven’t read Horowitz. I didn’t used to read him when he was a Stalinist and I don’t read him today.” Chomsky’s claim was mendacious on all counts. First, he knew that Horowitz’s “Stalinism” as a teenager was an accident of birth and that as an adult Horowitz had been an outspoken and visible anti-Stalinist. Second, Chomsky had not only read Horowitz’s work as a leftist but had admiringly cited his Rampartsarticle, “Sinews of Power” in his own book Problems of Knowledge and Freedom. Third, after Horowitz published “A Radical’s Disenchantment,” his farewell to the left, Chomsky sent him two nasty letters, consisting of twelve single-spaced typewritten pages, although he never answered Horowitz’s responses.

Dismissive snark was not unique to Chomsky. Eric Alterman, a commentator for MSNBC and a columnist for theNation, wrote a scathing review of The Politics of Bad Faith in which he failed to discuss the ideas in the text, but instead passed on to readers Paul Berman’s unhinged claim that Horowitz was a “demented lunatic,” a charge made in the course of a bitter attack in the pages of the socialist magazine Dissent. “When Horowitz finally dies,” Alterman wrote in the same review, “I suspect we will be confronted with a posthumous volume of memoirs titled ‘The End of History.’” The operative word here is the wishful finally. Leftists like Alterman now face a double bind: not only is Horowitz still with us, but he has given them the living summary of his work they dreaded in The Black Book of the American Left.

The tenured radicals of the university, perhaps because they have felt the sting of Horowitz’s attack, have chosen to ignore his significant role in the events of the 1960s and 70s while composing their political and social histories and filling their archives with primary documents. Despite a virtual cottage industry involving that radical era, he has received no more than a handful of inquires about his views, recollections, expertise, or work from any of the thousands of left-wing scholars and their students writing theses, articles, and books, or logging oral histories about this swath of history. At the same time, several faculty devoted to these historical pursuits have boycotted his campus appearances.

Similarly, the acropolis of our literary culture—the New York Review of Books, the New Republic, and the New York Times—have studiously ignored Horowitz’s work since he moved to the conservative camp. The New York Review of Books has not reviewed a Horowitz book since 1985, when The Kennedys was published; The New Republic stopped with Destructive Generation in 1989 and with the exception of one brief dismissive notice, theNew York Times stopped with the publication of Radical Son.

Some sectors of intellectual conservatism have also kept a distance from Horowitz, reflecting a discomfort with his aggressive political and literary style. Norman Podhoretz, the former editor of Commentary, who published several pieces by Collier and Horowitz in the 1980s, observes: “Some conservatives think he goes too far, and my guess is that some also believe his relentless campaign against the left focuses too much on the ‘pure’ form of it that has become less influential than its adulterated versions traveling under the name of liberalism. Then there’s his polemical style, which still resembles the one invented by the left. Even though it has made the left its target, there are conservatives, I think, who feel uncomfortable with it.”

The historian Richard Pipes is also puzzled by the failure of some conservative intellectuals to embrace Horowitz: “It may have to do with style and decorum. Conservatives do not like aggressive argumentation—they prefer to stand above the fray. For the same reason they ignore Rush Limbaugh for all his enormous success and influence. It is a weakness of the conservative movement, this fear of giving battle.”

Yet while some conservatives have kept him at arm’s length, it cannot be denied that Horowitz has enjoyed significant support in the conservative movement generally and even from the conservative media. While his later efforts may not always have received the attention they merit, Radical Son was a cover story in the Weekly Standard, Ramesh Ponnuru wrote an elegant and appreciative review in First Things and the book received very favorable notices in National Review and other conservative publications.

To overcome the many obstacles he has faced, Horowitz has been forced to create his own institutional base to carry on his work. He has done this with the help of a handful of conservative foundations and over 140,000 individual supporters who contribute to the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Its online journal,, is devoted to “News of the War at Home and Abroad” and receives over one and a half million unique visitors a month., another daily site that “hits and unmasks” leftists in the media; and a campus campaign website, tracks the growing anti-Semitism that has defaced the university and is creeping into mainstream politics.

The creation of the Freedom Center has enabled Horowitz to speak at over four hundred colleges and universities in the last twenty years – albeit in appearances that were ghettoized thanks to the protests and boycotts of the left – and to appear on well over a thousand radio talk shows and television programs. Through these efforts, Horowitz has been able to play a significant role in the battle of ideas. Paul Hollander, himself the author of notable books on radical politics, including Political Pilgrims and Anti-Americanism, has made the following comment on Horowitz’s contribution: “He played a very important part in the culture wars, and has been exceptionally courageous and paid a price for it by becoming the most detested ex-radical among his former comrades. Especially valuable has been his willingness to ‘dirty his hands’ so to speak by debating and addressing often hostile debaters and audiences. I know that many people think that he has embraced another extreme, that he has been too confrontational, etc. He exemplifies to some degree the dilemma of how to avoid becoming like one’s adversaries: how do you avoid the designation of ‘ideologue’ if you fight ideologues? Or avoid politicizing your own self as you fight the politicization of things, which should not be political? Would he have been more effective if he had been perceived as more ‘moderate?’ Hard to know. I basically applaud virtually all the stands he has taken, including most recently on the reparations for slavery.”

The left’s hatred for Horowitz’s achievement in exposing and crystallizing the pathology of radicalism is his reward for a quarter century of writing and argumentation. It has drawn the following appreciation from Norman Podhoretz: “David Horowitz is hated by the left because he is not only an apostate but has been even more relentless and aggressive in attacking his former political allies than some of us who preceded him in what I once called ‘breaking ranks’ with that world. He has also taken the polemical and organizational techniques he learned in his days on the left, and figured out how to use them against the left, whose vulnerabilities he knows in his bones. (That he is such a good writer and speaker doesn’t hurt, either.) In fact, he has done so much, and in so many different ways, that one might be justified in suspecting that ‘David Horowitz’ is actually more than one person.”

Podhoretz’s words explain why Horowitz continues to receive such tremendous praise from those who sense the left’s pernicious threat to liberty and who respect and admire what he has contributed to its defense. Academic and social critic Camille Paglia, herself an independent leftist, calls Horowitz “one of America’s most original and courageous political analysts,” reflecting that “as a scholar who regularly surveys archival material, I think that, a century from now, cultural historians will find David Horowitz’s spiritual and political odyssey paradigmatic for our time.” Roger Kimball, the editor and publisher of The New Criterion and the publisher of Encounter Books, refers to Horowitz as a “national treasure.” Emmy Award-winning writer, journalist, and political pundit Bernard Goldberg, calls Horowitz “one of America’s most important and interesting thinkers.” Wall Street Journal editorial board member Robert L. Pollock, sees in Horowitz “one of America’s foremost defenders of free speech and free thought.” Publisher’s Weekly, meanwhile, describes Horowitz as “one of the best political writers on either side of the aisle.”

Horowitz exemplifies the irritating and threatening reminder to tyranny that human freedom and the triumph of the human spirit can ultimately never be suffocated or suppressed. Henry Mark Holzer, a libertarian lawyer who was Ayn Rand’s attorney and has represented Soviet dissidents fleeing communism for freedom in the West, has given expression to sentiments shared by many of Horowitz’s conservative supporters: “I don’t say loosely that someone is a hero. But in my view, David Horowitz fits the definition of that term. He is a man who has stood up, and for a long time stood up alone, for his values. And his confessions are invaluable. We didn’t have Alger Hiss providing us with a book about why he turned to treason. But Horowitz has expressed how and why many Americans betrayed their own country in the face of evil. In this sense, he has provided a great service. And this service is enhanced by the fact that he shows how this form of treason operated on the psychological level. I am not sure that this has ever been done before.”

Someone who has traced the arc of David Horowitz’s life cannot help but think that, despite all the efforts to silence him, he will ultimately be vindicated by history and that the principles behind his work, to use William Faulkner’s famous words, will not only endure but prevail.

Review of Volume V: Culture Wars by Jay Nordlinger

One of my least favorite modern phrases is “gets it.” So-and-so “gets it,” and so-and-so “doesn’t get it.” But sometimes I find the phrase handy. And David Horowitz gets it. Gets what?

Well, many things, but he certainly gets the Left, from which he comes. As readers of this magazine don’t need to be told, Horowitz made one of the most famous, and consequential, journeys from left to right in recent history. He knows the Left from the inside out. He has their number, as we used to say. (“Gets it,” frankly, was sexual.)

Abigail Thernstrom is another intellectual who traveled from left to right. During the 1990s, she told me that she’d had an interesting conversation with an academic associated with the Clinton administration. He said that he would no longer engage in public debates with her. Why? “Because, Abby, you know what I’m going to say before I say it, and you know why I’m going to say it.”

Any leftist who debates David Horowitz is taking his life into his hands. Maybe that’s why so few agree to do it.

Horowitz is embarked on a tremendous publishing project: The Black Book of the American Left: The Collected Conservative Writings of David Horowitz. I remember how glad I was in 1997 when The Black Book of Communism came out. It documented the crimes of that gang, worldwide. In his collection, Horowitz is now up to Volume V, headed “Culture Wars.”

The volume is organized in five parts: “The Progressive Party Line”; “Media Culture”; “Sexual Politics”; “Feminist Assaults”; and “The Government’s Left-wing Network” (i.e., public broadcasting). It all begins with an introduction by Horowitz, which is worth the price of admission alone.

In this introduction, Horowitz says that Antonio Gramsci, the Italian Communist, had an idea: Forget trying to take over the means of industrial production; instead, take over the means of cultural production. “In Gramsci’s conception,” writes Horowitz, “this meant infiltrating and then subverting universities, churches, media and the institutions of the arts.”

I am both a political journalist and a music critic, and sometimes musicians come out to me — that is, they confide to me that they are conservative. “Don’t tell anyone!” they make me swear. “If it were known that I lean right, I’d be in big trouble. I could even be fired.” Really? Why should it matter to an orchestra whether an oboist voted for Romney or Obama? In any event, it does. And the Romney voter had better keep her mouth shut.

“In Gramsci’s vision,” Horowitz later says, “radical subversion of these institutions and therefore of the culture would make radical ideas the ruling ideas, which would result in radicals’ becoming a political ruling class.” That’s what has happened, right?

The campuses are now erupting in political correctness, which is really too benign a term for the phenomenon. I’ll let Horowitz speak to the matter:

The phenomenon of “political correctness” is, in fact, an updated version of the “party line” — a stock feature of the organizations of the Communist-progressive left. The utility of a party line lies in the way it demonizes opponents, converting dissent into deviancy, while requiring its adherents to reduce complex realities to political formulas, which deprives them of the ability to learn from their experiences.

A neater description of the campus situation, I can hardly imagine. A few weeks ago, a Yale official apologized abjectly to students for offenses that the students had simply made up. I thought, “Oh, my gosh. As in the Cultural Revolution, the adults are afraid of the kids. The adults are trembling.”

Part I of Volume V opens with an essay that Horowitz wrote with Peter Collier, his longtime comrade (on both left and right). “It’s the Culture, Stupid!” the essay is called. They wrote it in late 1992, when the Bush 41 administration was giving way to the Clinton administration. The essay brought to me a flood of memories, and is especially interesting in light of the present day.

Horowitz and Collier discuss Johnnetta Cole, a key figure on Bill Clinton’s transition team. She was a veteran leftist, a robust supporter of Fidel Castro and other Communist dictators. Now she is the director of a Smithsonian museum. Donna Shalala was a similar sort. She had been chancellor of the University of Wisconsin, and, in the Clinton administration, would be the secretary of Health and Human Services. After government, she became president of the University of Miami. Now she is the head of the Clinton Foundation.

In their essay, Horowitz and Collier mention the president-elect’s “promise to lift the ban on HIV-infected Haitians now quarantined at Guantanamo.” In that way did Gitmo once make the news! The authors also say that, with the Cold War won, foreign affairs may be less critical, “at least for a while.” Horowitz and Collier were characteristically wise to include those words. The “holiday from history,” as people called it, ended less than a decade later, on a September day in 2001.

The authors do not fail to reckon with the incoming First Lady, Hillary Clinton — or was she Rodham or Rodham Clinton then? “It is the social agenda that is now at the center of American concerns, and this agenda is in danger of being handed to what we will probably soon be calling the Hillary Left.”

In early 2000, when Hillary announced for the Senate in New York, a journalist friend of mine said to me, “They’re going to be in our faces for the rest of our lives, won’t they be? We will never be rid of them.” He was speaking of the Clintons. I didn’t think it could be true. But maybe it is.

My favorite line of the Horowitz-Collier piece is this, and I bet it will be yours, too: “Hillary makes one wish for a Clintonectomy even before the administration takes power.”

In Part II, about media culture, Horowitz writes of Elia Kazan, the late film director, who “named names” in 1952 — who gave testimony to the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Kazan was a brave man, probably a great man, in addition to being a great filmmaker. Horowitz argues that Kazan endured a blacklist longer than any of the Communists who composed the Hollywood Ten: Thanks to his bravery, his testimony, he was shunned by his natural artistic community.

I had an encounter with Kazan a few months ago. The New York Philharmonic screened his 1954 masterpieceOn the Waterfront, for the purpose of playing the Bernstein score, as the movie unspooled overhead. Before the performance, a man came out and said that we should overlook Kazan’s sin in testifying before HUAC. After all, so much time had passed.

Meanwhile, the Philharmonic’s program notes instructed us that Kazan had “cooperated with dark forces.” Funny how the Communists — the allies, well-wishers, and agents of Josef Stalin — are never the “dark forces.” Just the anti-Communists. Also, the program notes referred to “rabid” anti-Communists. Long ago, Orwell pointed out that no one ever said “rabid anti-Nazi” or “rabid anti-fascist.” Only “rabid anti-Communist.” It’s still true.

At the moment, there is a movie celebrating the life of Dalton Trumbo, one of the Hollywood Ten. He loved Stalin, of course, and he also defended Hitler, as long as the Nazi-Soviet Pact lasted. And after the war, he heralded Kim Il Sung in North Korea. Would Hollywood ever make a movie celebrating the life of Elia Kazan?

In a piece about multiculturalism, Horowitz says something that made me sit up straight:

Like most of the destructive -isms of the 20th century, multiculturalism is an invention of well-fed intellectuals. It did not well up from the immigrant communities and ethnic ghettoes of America as an expression of their cultural aspirations or communal needs.

So true, bracingly true — and it reminded me of something that Thomas Sowell says about income inequality: The only people who care about it are well-fed intellectuals (to borrow Horowitz’s term). The poor don’t give a damn about income inequality. They just want to be less poor, regardless of what those above are making.

In 1992, Horowitz wrote a piece called “Homo-McCarthyism.” So early? Yes, that early, although this kind of McCarthyism would increase. Horowitz notes that Joseph Epstein, the writer, was upbraided by GLAAD, the gay activist group, for saying “homosexual” rather than “gay” or “lesbian.” Two years ago, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times began a column, “I’m worried about the Supreme Court.” Farther down, she quoted a friend of hers, who said, “Scalia uses the word ‘homosexual’ the way George Wallace used the word ‘Negro.’”

Antonin Scalia, one of the most refined and cultivated men alive, as George Wallace? So it is in the mind, or at least the propaganda, of the Left culture warriors.

The final part of Volume V, as I mentioned, is about public broadcasting. And you might wonder why the United States, a liberal republic, should have state media. You might also wonder why they defend, and even glorify, the Black Panthers and other such “political” killers. Horowitz is a master of this kind of analysis.

One of the killers is Assata Shakur, née Joyce Chesimard, who killed a New Jersey trooper — Werner Foerster — in 1973. For several decades, she has been a guest of Castro (and his brother). In 1997, Essence magazine published an interview with her under the title “Prisoner in Paradise.” (“Paradise” was totalitarian Cuba.)

In 2011, President Obama invited the rapper Common to perform at the White House. Police organizations protested — because Common had composed a piece glorifying the killer, “A Song for Assata.” Sample lyric: “All this shit so we could be free, so dig it, y’all.” Obama was deaf to the protests, and hugged the rapper, for good measure.

Speaking of cop-killers, Horowitz notes something that surprised even me: National Public Radio invited Mumia Abu-Jamal to give a monthly commentary. Abu-Jamal is the Philadelphia Panther who in 1981 murdered Officer Daniel Faulkner. He has been behind bars ever since. But he is a “social justice” hero to the Left, very much including NPR, it would appear. But the hiring of Abu-Jamal proved too much even for a softened-up America, and the deal never came off.

Auden called the 1930s a “low dishonest decade.” Since the 1960s, we have had nothing but. I have an octogenarian friend who sometimes asks me, “What has happened to us?” Why has America fallen into illiberalism and self-loathing? David Horowitz explains. It may be painful to read the answer, but he has it.

For some 35 years, he has been screaming at us, “These people really hate you!” (“These people” being the Left.) “They are intent on destroying you. Don’t you realize that?” I realize that, yes, and one of the people who helped me to, many years ago, when I was learning about the world, was Horowitz.

Reading Volume V of his magnificent collection made me sad, for two reasons. First, I thought, “Those who need to read this, won’t. Those who need to know this, won’t. David is preaching to the choir. I wish he could preach to the nation at large.”

But then I remembered that I found him — as I found Norman Podhoretz, Bill Buckley, and many others. No teacher or professor assigned them to me. But I found them. And maybe other people will find David, and these volumes?

The second thing that made me sad was this: Après lui, qui? After David, who? Who gets the Left like this, who has its number, who remembers everything that happened, who remembers where they bodies are buried (literally, in the case of the Panthers’ victims), who will scream at us, when we need screaming? Who? But at least we have The Black Book of the American Left, a repository of vital information and thought, indeed of truth.

Jay Nordlinger is a senior editor of National Review and the music critic of The New Criterion. His most recent book is Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators.

Islamo-Fascism and the War Against the Jews by David Horowitz–Review by Lee Bender

By Lee Bender
June 15, 2015
Originally published in The Philadelphia Jewish Voice

Islamo-Fascism and the War Against the Jews: The Black Book of the American Left Volume 4 is indispensable for anyone who cares about the so-called “War on Terror” and identifying who the real enemies are of the United States and Israel — and nothing less than our Judeo-Christian culture and values are at stake. David Horowitz is an unfairly maligned writer by the mainstream press, liberal-leftists and academia in particular, but he is fearless, daring to go right into the “belly of the beast” and speak at dozens of college campuses about topics that opponents cannot refute on the merits, resorting to name-calling, and lying about his facts, sentiments and record instead.

This quick reading volume, which contains many short chapters and speeches on Islamo-Fascism, The Middle East Conflict, and the Campus War on the Jews, will horrify readers unfamiliar with how academia perverts the very essence of what the university should stand for: freedom of expression and the open market of ideas. Instead, Horowitz shows how he is consistently vilified and misportrayed- to the point he needs armed guards to even enter assembly halls because of the threatening behavior of Muslim student groups in particular, and even some Jewish ones, who only want to shut him down and brand him a racist hater. Why? Because he challenged them to confront the jihadists (he is not afraid to use proper identifiers), who are in a disturbing alliance with anti-American radicals, who cannot stand his use of concepts to counter their empty cries of “Islamophobia” when he points to Islam’s oppression of women and homosexuals, its true goals of Islamizing the world, creating dhimmis (second class citizens) of Jews and Christians, and ultimately to destroy our freedoms and democracy. Their plans to destroy Israel and deny Jews a sovereign state of their own are shown as naked anti-Semitism. And Israel is merely the canary in the coal mine.

Horowitz is a rare, brave and original thinker, and unlike most of his critics, he has the street “cred” to prove it: he himself became a leading Marxist “theorist” in the early 1960s and one of the founders of the New Left. It was after Vietnam, however, that he began to re-examine the damage these views had inflicted upon the country and realized that the Left had left him. But you cannot afford to leave him. This book deserves a serious read by any honest broker.

Review of Volume IV – Islamo-Fascism and the War Against the Jews

By Andrew C. McCarthy

In 1956, Nikita Krushchev, then the leader of world communism, gave what was supposed to be a secret speech about the crimes of Josef Stalin, including millions upon millions murdered. As David Horowitz has often recounted, the page-one publication of that speech byThe New York Times shook American communists to the core. These included such self-styled “Progressives” as Horowitz’s own parents, who were devastated by the news that validated claims long posited by anti-communists of the political right.

Yet, the discredited movement for “social justice” – which Horowitz defines as “equality enforced by government” – did not perish. The next generation, the “destructive generation,” launched a “new left,” fatuously believing its adherents would be untainted by the Soviet legacy of totalitarian repression and unlikely to repeat such crimes. Later, the Soviet empire’s collapse spawned predictions of the movement’s death that have proved greatly exaggerated. Instead, as Horowitz has observed, the collapse proved liberating (perhaps the only thing about social justice that can be said to be liberating) “because the utopian vision is no longer anchored in the reality of an existing socialist state,” enabling the modern left to “indulge its nihilistic agendas without restraint.”

The result has been predictable: The new left, Horowitz explains, is “no different from the old – embracing Communists in Vietnam and Central America and, eventually, Islamic totalitarians in Gaza and the Middle East.”

The last of this group, the vanguard of sharia supremacism, is the focus ofIslamofascism and the War Against the Jews, the recently released fourth volume of Horowitz’s conservative oeuvre, the collection called The Black Book of the American Left.

In it, the author expertly diagnoses Islamo-fascism, a term he undertook to popularize in 2007, amid the remarkably successful campaign by the Islamist-Leftist alliance to suppress examination of the scriptural moorings of jihadist terror. He also relates counter-offensives executed by the indispensible David Horowitz Freedom Center, taking the battle to the alliance’s home turf, America’s universities. The author also explores the alliance’s war of anti-Semitism – not of anti-Zionism, but an unremitting war of hatred for the Jewish people – the top agenda item of modern Islamo-fascism and the fuel for much of its agitation on campuses across the nation.

The neologism “Islamo-fascism” was made necessary by the United States government’s obtuse determination not to acknowledge, much less examine, the ideological basis of Muslim terrorism. This willful blindness has hardened into unbending policy – indeed, into farce – during the Obama years. Horowitz, however, correctly traces its origins to the George W. Bush administration’s preternatural indulgence of Muslim sensibilities even after jihadists killed nearly 3,000 Americans in the atrocities of September 11, 2001. Of course, it was not Muslim sensibilities the administration was seeking to placate; it was the cleverly orchestrated grievance-mongering ofthe Muslim Brotherhood.

Since its founding in Egypt in 1928, Horowitz relates that the Brotherhood has been the world’s most influential font of sharia supremacism, sharia being classical Islam’s repressive societal framework and legal code, rooted in Muslim scripture – the Koran, as well as sacralized accounts of the prophet Mohammed’s life, words and deeds. Since the middle of the twentieth century, the Brotherhood has methodically built an infrastructure of satellite organizations in the United States, much of which was laid bare in the Justice Department’s 2007-08 prosecution of a Hamas financing operation, the Holy Land Foundation case. Hamas self-identifies as the Brotherhood’s Palestinian jihadist wing, and support for its war to eradicate the Jewish state has been a top priority of the Brotherhood’s American network since the late 1980s.

Among the most significant of the Brotherhood satellites have been the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The MSA, which now boasts hundreds of chapters in universities throughout North America, is a Brotherhood breeding ground, indoctrinating students in organizational protocols as well as the virulently anti-Western, pro-jihadist writings of Islamist thinkers. Several top MSA leaders have gone on to become prominent members of al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. Chiefly, though, the MSA colludes with the left to undermine support for policies that promote American interests in the world and security at home.

CAIR was established in the early 1990s because the Brotherhood shrewdly perceived the need for a public relations arm that could, by masquerading as a civil rights organization, leverage American liberties against American interests – not least, the interest in combating jihadism both domestically and overseas.

The most effective gambit of the Islamist alliance with the left has been the promotion of an illusion, “Islamophobia.” As Horowitz illustrates, this contrivance was born in Islamist think-tanks for the specific purpose of smearing as racists commentators who engage in negative criticism of Islam – in particular, any effort to demonstrate Islamic doctrine’s straight-line nexus not only to jihadist terror but to the repression of women, the killing of homosexuals and apostates, and deep-seated animus against non-Muslims, especially Jews and Christians. Because these are undeniable features of their scripturally-rooted ideology, Islamists knew it was imperative to discourage public examination of their principles. The “Islamophobia” canard, exploiting the founding American tradition of religious tolerance, was an ingenious strategy to discredit and thus silence the messengers.

It worked to a fare thee well. Not only was the examination of our enemy’s ideology vilified on campus and in the media; the government – even as it fought jihadists on the battlefield and prosecuted them in the courts – accepted the fraudulent premises of Islamophobia. Turning for guidance to “Muslim community leaders” (i.e., Brotherhood-connected organizations like CAIR), law-enforcement and intelligence agencies suppressed mention of such terms “Islam” and “jihad” in connection with, well, Islamic jihad.

Moreover, as Horowitz shows in various contexts, nothing serves the Islamist-leftist alliance like a vacuum. With examination and discussion of the actual cause of jihadist terror – sharia supremacist ideology – muzzled, Islamists and leftists had an open field to offer their competing version of terrorism’s causes: American support for Israel, American counterterrorism policies, American aggression, American support of pro-Western dictators in Muslim countries, and the lack of social justice, which, of course, we are to believe is the beating heart of Islam.

Horowitz’s promotion of the term “Islamo-fascism” was a vital pushback against this onslaught. As he posits, the term “properly identified the religious nature of the jihadist threat along with its totalitarian implications – two hitherto-suppressed realities that were vital to understanding the enemy we faced.” The government retreated from the effort when a single utterance of the term by President Bush produced uproar from the Islamist-leftist alliance. Horowitz decided the best response was to take the fight to the source: the universities where the MSA was succeeding in banning scrutiny of the Islamists’ tyrannical creed.

Much of the book details these efforts and the unvarnished anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism they were met with on campuses across the country. At Columbia University, which happily played host to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – the then-president of Iran with decades of American blood on his hands, Islamists and leftists rabidly protested against Horowitz’s “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.” Making space for “Islamophobic” arguments in the marketplace of ideas, they fretted, would prompt “hate crimes” against innocent Muslims and justify America’s wars of “aggression” and “occupation” – not liberation – in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At the University of California at San Diego, which has made an academic icon of Angela Davis (a lifelong communist, Soviet apologist, Black Panther confederate, and spewer of anti-white, anti-Jew and anti-American bile), Horowitz appeared during the libelous “Israeli Apartheid” week. In a post-speech question-and-answer session, he engaged a Muslim student with whom, following her commonplace refusal to condemn Hamas’s genocidal aspirations, he had the following exchange:

 Horowitz: … I am a Jew. The head of Hezbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn’t have to hunt us down globally. For it or against it?

Student: For it.

Horowitz thanked the student for showing anyone who cared to see exactly what is really going on in America’s universities. He could equally well have thanked her for clarifying what the jihad in Israel is really about: not the vindication of Palestinian human rights but the extermination of Jews.

For decades, and with singular clarity, Horowitz has exposed what is popularly rendered as “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” In reality, it is a continuation of the jihad seeking the Jewish state’s destruction begun in 1948. From the start, Arab Muslim states sought Israel’s annihilation, and the failure to achieve it in a war of naked aggression was considered the nakba – the catastrophe. With the help of the American left, Islamists have falsely portrayed the ceaseless jihad as a political conflict over disputed territory and a struggle against “occupation.” In point of fact, Islamists will be satisfied with nothing less than Israel’s destruction – and leftists with nothing left than the eradication of a liberty success story where Arabs live with more freedom and dignity than in any Islamic state.

Israel, Horowitz underscores, is the canary in America’s coalmine. Islamists and leftists seamlessly confederate in the West, notwithstanding significant differences (on, e.g., women’s rights, gay rights, and abortion), because our liberty culture is the chief obstacle to their totalitarian designs.

Islamists and Leftists see the war clearly and understand the imperative of keeping us blind, or at least silent. David Horowitz has made a career of unmasking our enemies, who cannot be defeated absent recognition of who and what they are.

Review:  David Horowitz, The Black Book of the American Left: Volume IV:  Islamo-Fascism and the War Against the Jews

In this spirited and savvy collection of recent essays and speeches, David Horowitz argues that progressives, that is, left of center politicians, journalists and intellectuals have contributed to “undermining the defense of Western civilization against the totalitarian forces determined to destroy it.” Specifically, the threat comes from “the holy war or jihad waged by totalitarian Islamists in their quest for a global empire.” (p.1) These essays, many of which are lectures at university campuses or reports about those lectures, will reinforce the views of those who already agree that “Western civilization” is a good thing, that Islamism is a form of totalitarianism and that its Jihad is quest for a “global empire.” They may not convince those who think Western civilization is another name for racism, imperialism and war, that totalitarianism is an ideological relic of the Cold War and that an otherwise peaceful and tolerant Islam has been “hijacked” by violent extremists who misconstrue its texts and their meanings. Yet they may strike a nerve with those liberals who think it is absurd to deny the clear links between Islamism and terror and who, especially after the murders in Paris in January, understand that Islamism is a threat to the liberal traditions of Western politics and culture.

This volume addresses a by now much discussed paradox of our political and intellectual life. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks of 9/11, the liberal intellectual Paul Berman in Terror and Liberalism made the compelling case that the Islamist ideology that inspired the Al Qaeda terrorists emerged from a profoundly reactionary set of ideas which had lineages to Nazism and fascism. In Germany, Matthias Kuentzel, in his Jihad and Jew-Hatred:  Nazism, Islamism and the Roots of 9/11 examined in more detail the illiberal views of the 9/11 terrorists as well as the political and ideological connections between Islamism and Nazism. A number of us historians have documented those connections. The irony of the years since 2001, and especially of the Obama years, is that, with some exceptions, much of the sharpest criticism of the reactionary nature of Islamism and defense of classically liberal values has not come from the historic home of anti-fascism among leftists and liberals. Rather, as the 55, mostly short essays in this collection indicate, that critique has migrated to centrists and conservatives or those who are now called conservatives.

“Islamophobia,” the longest essay in the collection is co-written with Robert Spencer, also importantly draws attention to the international connections of Islamist organizations in the United States. The authors write that “the purpose of inserting the term ‘phobia’ is to suggest that any fear associated with Islam is irrational” and thus to discredit arguments that suggest a connection between Islamism and terror as themselves forms of bigotry. Horowitz and Spencer connect this criticism of the concept to discussion of the organizational connections between the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2005, the FBI seized the Northern Virginia headquarters of the Holy Land Foundation, then the largest Islamic “charity” in the United States. In a trial in 2007 that led to the conviction of the Foundation’s leaders on charges of supporting a terrorist organization, the prosecution entered a seized a remarkable document entitled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.”(18)  The group’s goal was the establishment of “an effective and stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood, which adopts Muslim causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at directing and unifying Muslim’s efforts, presents Islam as a civilizational alternative, and supports the global Islam state wherever it is.”  Muslims, it continued “must understand their work in American is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” Horowitz and Spencer perform an important service in drawing attention to this document and to the political campaign that it has inspired.

The memo called for the creation of front organizations including the Muslim American Society, the Muslim Students Association, and the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Islamic Association for Palestine and the parent group of the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR. Another front group identified in the Holy Land memo was the International Institute for Islamic Thought, said to have invented the term “Islamophobia.” Horowitz and Spencer’s discussion of CAIR’s “Islamophobia campaign” is particularly interesting. In the Holy Land case, the US Department of Justice named CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator and produced evidence that it has received $500,000 dollars from the Holy Land Foundation to set itself up.  CAIR was created in 1994 as a spinoff of a Hamas front group, the Islamic Association for Palestine, a group that the US government shut down in 2005 for funding terrorism. CAIR has defined Islamophobia as “closed minded prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims” and has described anti-terror measures adopted by the US government as forms of “prejudice” and “hatred.” The authors argue that the use of such terms has been an effective instrument in blunting or stifling criticism of Islamism.

On American university and college campuses, the Muslim Students Association and “Students for Justice in Palestine” have sponsored “Israel Apartheid Weeks.” In recent years, the MSA has been particularly active at the campuses of the University of California in Davis, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles in the anti-Islamophobia campaigns. Remarkably, such efforts have received support from coalitions of leftwing student groups active in student governments. The authors write that “perhaps the chief asset possessed by the jihadists is a coalition of non-Muslims-European and American progressives—who support the anti-Islamophobia campaign,” one that “had a venerable antecedent in the support that progressives provided to Soviet totalitarians during the Cold War.” (p.48) Again, the remarkable aspect of the current coalitions between Islamists and leftists was that these leftists were making common cause with organizations famous for anti-Semitism, subordination of women to second class status or worse and deep religious conviction, a set of beliefs at odds with some of the classic values of the radical left in the twentieth century. Then again, in view of the anti-Zionist campaigns of the Soviet Union and its allies during the Cold War and the hostility of the global radical left to Israel in recent decades, such “Red-Green” leftist-Islamist coalitions of recent years are not so surprising.

Horowitz sees a parallel between the “secular messianic movements like communism, socialism and progressivism” and the religious creeds they replaced. “It is not surprising therefore, that the chief sponsors of the blasphemy laws and the attitudes associated with them have been movements associated with the political left. It is no accident that the movement to outlaw Islamophobia should be deeply indebted to the secular left and its campaign to stigmatize its opponents by indiscriminately applying repugnant terms to them like ‘racist.’”  The invention and application of the concept of Islamophobia “is the first step in outlawing freedom of speech, and therefore freedom itself, in the name of religious tolerance.”(55)

The remainder of this volume elaborates on these themes with twenty essays on Islamo-fascism, thirteen on the Middle East Conflict and eleven on “the Campus War against the Jews.” Horowitz’ reports on his many speeches at various campuses where some of the above mentioned Islamic organizations turn up to protest. There the front organizations of the Muslim Brotherhood, especially the Muslim Students Association, emerged to challenge his arguments about the links between Islamism and fascism. Two essays are particularly important—and depressing. In “Suicidal Jews” and “”Hillel”s Coalitions with Israel’s Enemies,” Horowitz describes instances in which liberal and left-leaning Jewish undergraduates turn their criticism towards him rather than towards the anti-Israeli activists on campus.

This fourth volume of Horowitz’s essays depicts the bizarre nature of our contemporary political culture in which leftists make common cause with Islamists, Israel is denounced as a racist entity while the anti-Semitism of the Muslim Brothers, Hamas and the government of Iran are non-issues for leftists, and the United States government refuses to state the obvious about the connection between Islamist ideology and the practice of terrorism. The defense of liberal principles has liberal advocates but as this valuable collection indicates the core of the defense has become a preoccupation of the center and right of American intellectual and political life. This volume is an important document of that endeavor.

Jeffrey Herf, Distinguished University Professor, Department of History, University of Maryland, College Park. His most recent book is Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World. His work in progress is entitled “At War with Israel: East Germany and the West German Radical Left, 1967-1989.”