I am on a red streak. I just finished Howard Fast's autobio, "BEING RED" and currently am MIDWAY THROUGH "RADICAL SON", an autobiography by David Horowitz who was apparently a big philosopher of the progressive Left, a Columbia College English grad, Berkeley Poly Sci Post Grad degree, anti-war activist then editor at Ramparts Magazine, writer of many books, commentator of note for four decades. A man of the people, in the trenches, a terrier who consecrated his life to killing the rat so that humanity could be rodent free.
I'd heard that David Horowitz name for three decades at least, but had no idea who he was & figured the name referred to the Consumer advocate who worked at an L.A.TV station with 'FIGHT BACK" who I'd been watching for years so I never investigated his books as ...hey...he was a tv newsman.Ombudsman.
Suddenly, I find that this DAVID HOROWITZ is an historic character, second generation New York City socialist and a leader of many impassioned, activist movements in the last four decades. He's kind of a sprout from the HOWARD FAST tree, Howard being the tallest red pine in the forest. Until this guy came along.
Hearing about Leftist activism of the first half of the 20th century from Howard Fast, I suddenly realized how pervasive, deep, impassioned and huge was the Left. It had in it the Unions, communists, Socialists and anti-Fascists .. it had the anti-war movements and grew bigger and bigger until the Mc Carthy Hearings period. It was carefully shrouded in places, a lot of it underground but it was HUGE, until the McCarthy hearings really made a dent in it, and it folded up camp and disappeared into the woodwork.
David Horowitz was born to two dedicated, American commies, working class NYC union Jews, the anti-war activists of their day and decided to continue his parents' fight. All Jews in NYC were unionists, activists and leftists, but not all went as far as his parents. They got behind black civil rights issues early before that word even existed and their struggle created the climate of freedom that evolved through JFK /RFK and Lyndon's time as civil rights. Did you note how many Jews were on southern highways getting lynched by the KKK? These were also the Radical Sons of the New York left, and as civil rights activists, worked to gain blacks some measure of equality. Horowitz' parents also fought to save the ROSENBERGS, accused atom bomb formula spies, who in spite of the activism, lost their lives and in the end, both Horowitz' parents lost their jobs.
The activists of the 40's didn't use the words we use today, oligarch, fascism and 'empire' but their Marxist training paved the way for those words being understood fully, today, also terms like equality, human rights entered the language, became popularly understood and were actually implemented by their efforts.
Where leftists then aren't like today's anti-war activists is this: the original communist party members modeled their political efforts after those of Lenin and privately hoped for the total downfall of America as we know it. They were preparing their 'party' to move into place the way LENIN did after the Czar fell. Of course, LENIN's party had kicked the Czar OUT.
Two things eventually would seriously test their beliefs: the bad role model wacko Joe STALIN who killed 30,000 peasants to shake them off their farms. And WWII where Joe Stalin moved into place to help the US beat Germany. Then their hair turned gray the day Nikita Khruschev went before the politburo and screamed 'admit it, Stalin was a horror, he ruined communism, turned it into an odious police state, gave us a bad rep."
When I read a book, I like riveting, fascinating, informative drama. For me, the MOST INTERESTING WRITERS OUT THERE are in FICTION. They'd be Daniel Silva, Frederic Forsyth and Robert Littell who win place and show. Lee Child, Robert Crais, Sue Grafton, Lawrence Block, Ken Follett and Robert Parker come in right behind. These writers never bore. But only the first three get political Silva and Forsyth and Littell and I love it when they do. I prefer political novelists.
But In NON-fiction? Who are the top Tyrade jocks? Michael Moore, and now DAVID HOROWITZ
What gives him dimension is unlike Michael Moore, he is an historian of the left, a one man FINLAND STATION, my favorite multi-biography of all the great soldiers in that trench full of liberals. To think, this man has been an activist since before VietNam!. Yet the strange thing is, while I'm googling him, I find that there's this RIGHT WING DAVID HOROWITZ TOO who gave Ann Coulter a perch after she got her butt fired. WHich means that if FIGHT BACK Horowitz is still around, there are now three official David Horowitzes. Okaaaaaaaay.
WILL THE REAL DAVID HOROWITZ STAND UP? I continue to google and then I find something that shocks me, it's so surreal. David Horowitz the NYC activist switched directions, changed boats, switched rivers. He got nauseated by the violent pranks of the Panthers, the Frisco Merry Band of Prankster Leftists that included all the famous names of the 60's and he quit them!
Now, along comes THIS whole RIGHT WING SIDE TO HIM: Read: http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=16220
What's that about? Same guy? Converted? WHY? How was it possible? His life was the LEFT WING. But there it was:. http://www.hoover.org/multimedia/uk/2939211.html
He seems to have crossed to the other side. After Radical Son, he wrote HATING WHITEY where he informs the reader that blacks hate whites and loathe the very Jews who secured their freedom. It was such a tyrade, colleges wouldn't publish ads for it!
So ok, there's this ONE HOROWITZ who runs a BLOG: http://horowitzwatch.blogspot.com/
THE OTHER one of the two HOROWITZES runs a blog also. http://www.frontpagemag.com/
And the horrible thing is, they're the same guy. SEE BELOW:
So when I realize that Horowitz has made such an odyssey, I go back to reading the book RADICAL SON and finally get to the middle of the book where he starts to feel nausea at the pretentiousness of Tom Hayden (after he married Jane (The bunch of lefties called it among themselves, 'armed snuggle,' ) Horowitz describes his interest in and compassion for the Black Community, and his fascination with the Black Panthers. He describes being drawn in by that fascination and the day a lightning bolt made him raise a huge sum of money to buy them a church, auditorium and school for the Panther children, raising money from all his celeb pals. He reveals the violence of Eldridge Cleaver, (where we'd expect to find it,) but also the snakelike charm of the gorgeous Huey Newton who with Horowitz' help, raised 5million dollars from admiring liberals, events described in "RADICAL CHIC" by author Tom Wolfe who apparently had the good, jaundiced, cynical X-ray vision that Horowitz didn't.
Horowitz' turning point came shortly after when he sent Ramparts' beloved bookkeeper, Betty in to do the Panthers' books. She saw the figure-juggling and the female head of the Panthers (Huey fled warrants to the Carribean) had Betty beaten to death and dumped the mother of three's body in the San Francisco bay. Horowitz went into shock for a few years and came out of it a total Conservative and wrote HATING WHITEY. His Liberal publishing house wouldn't touch it, dropped him and if you click on the above, the NATION Mag disowns him too.
His book RADICAL SON has interesting passages on the Egomania of Robert Scheer, who's still, today the top dog leftist in California, recently fired by the LA TIMES, who Babs Streisand defended, canceling her subscription and taking out full page ads..where else? In the L.A. Times!
Anyway I'm in the middle of this fascinating book now, reading what sickened Horowitz right out of his life work, away from all those self-righteous, superior, generous battles rescuing the underdog and feeling oh so virtuous about it. I hope such a transformation never happens to ME. God forbid I should look after myself and not the world, actually make money and own property!
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