This Just In: General Franco is Still Dead
I am, of course, shaken to the core. But it's hardly my fault that Radosh has spoken well of Franco's regime. One can see where he might not like having that pointed out. In any case it is not the same as labeling him a fascist, which I have never done.
What really rankles, perhaps, is that I did not think very much of his autobiography, and said so when reviewing it for the Washington Post some years ago:
Nothing in Radosh's memoir conveys the painful ordeal of dis-illusionment, in the strong sense: an ordeal, a crisis, in which one faces not only the morally repulsive consequences of beliefs and actions but also the qualities of willful self-deception and ideologically compulsory blindness that have sustained one's previous commitments.
Instead, we get a chronicle of complaints and alibis. It is a commonplace that leftist dogma can be a way to avoid unpleasant realities about oneself. Commies makes a pioneering and rather daring use of right-wing rhetoric for the same end. When Radosh's first (and by his own account quite miserable) marriage finally disintegrates, this is because his wife was influenced by the women's movement. A few pages later, he finds himself having sex with an alcoholic girlfriend on top of Mount Rushmore. "I now don't understand why or even how I did such things," he writes. "Perhaps it was the cumulative effect of too much marijuana." So much for personal responsibility. It was all the Zeitgeist's fault.
At last report, some ten months back, Radosh was getting a leg up on Lyndon LaRouche by suggesting that Obama is a fascist. He is now calling me both a charlatan and (here the irony gets so thick it starts to congeal) a McCarthyite. Well, I'll live. But it's hard not to notice that the man is not getting any more cogent with age.
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