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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A genuinely profound autobiography
Of a rare odyssey: Someone who rethinks their political beliefs from the ground up. For Horowitz, it was seeing friends murdered by 'brothers in arms' in the political Left (ie Black Panthers), that woke him up and turned him away from radical leftism.
This is the most interesting political odyssey stories since Whittaker Chambers' "Witness", and there are...
Published on July 11 2004 by P. McGuinness

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3.0 out of 5 stars Another "red diaper babe" outed
How a reasonably intelligent man moved from 'way over there' politically, to 'way over here' is the superstructure of David Horowitz's interesting autobiography which tracks his political and philosophical epiphany. Like Saul of Tarsus who was stricken on the Road to Damascus and changed from a prosecutor to a defender of those he attacked, Horowitz moved from the...
Published on Sept. 14 2003 by Paul J. Rask


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A genuinely profound autobiography, July 11 2004
By 
P. McGuinness "freedomstruth" (Austin, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Radical Son: A Generational Oddysey (Paperback)
Of a rare odyssey: Someone who rethinks their political beliefs from the ground up. For Horowitz, it was seeing friends murdered by 'brothers in arms' in the political Left (ie Black Panthers), that woke him up and turned him away from radical leftism.
This is the most interesting political odyssey stories since Whittaker Chambers' "Witness", and there are echoes of that era in today's era, and in the two man's lives. Chambers and Horowitz both are now toasted on the right and vilified by the left, even though neither were/are cookie cutter conservatives. Their main threat to the left is they are on to the game of the Leftists. Hence the venom against Horowitz.
The previous review is nonsense. Horowitz calls people Communists and Socialists because that is what they called *themselves*. Including Horowitz, who was raised as a 'red diaper' baby. "Neo-McCarthyite" hmmm. Well, KGB files now reveal that many of the 'innocents' protected by the Left were in fact certainly Soviet spies: Rosenbergs, Hiss. And that 100s of Communist spies were in the US Government. McCarthy was right more than wrong!
Whatever your political leanings, this books is highly recommended. It will make you think!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have come full circle, Dec 23 2003
By 
Jenny M. Hatch (Louisville, Colorado United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Radical Son: A Generational Oddysey (Paperback)
Reading Radical son has now completed a journey I began in 1992. After being forcibly drugged by the Psyche profession/courts during an emotional breakdown after giving birth to my first baby, I became very interested in learning how the psychiatric profession obtained so much power against individual rights in America. Reading Cleon Skousen's book, The Naked Communist helped me to connect the Communist link to this ugly reality.
I have studied communism off and on during the intervening twelve years while living in The People's Republic of Boulder Colorado as a closet Conservative. I shared my rightist views with other's when opportunity presented over the years, but mostly I stayed home and read books while nurturing my additional four children.
My husband and I have home schooled off and on during these past few years - and I would like to suggest to those who feel hopeless about the power elite's control of our universities, and media not to give up on the parents of today. We who are educated about these important political issues are raising large families of holisitcally nurtured, gently educated, and un-propaganized children. My best memories of home school are the daily lessons my husband taught our children in American History. We would say the pledge and sing The Star Spangled Banner, and then he would teach the children about our amazing Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and together we testified of our faith in and dedication to the principles of freedom.
The radical leftist's are aborting away most of their children, and in the end, it will be the our children and grandchildren who will be the leaders of the future. I have walked in homeschooling and dedicated parenting circles for many years now, and those outspoken leftists who always seemed to dominate conversations, wether we were talking about breastfeeding, politics,or education are now somewhat confused and not so confident of their worldview.
David Horowitz's Radical Son is a powerful and passionate rebuke of leftist thought and political activism. I will use it to continue teaching my children the Truth.
I would hope that the older generation of passionate conservatives would remember the young mothers and fathers of today who are quietly and steadfastly teaching our own the principles and practices of Freedom when you get discouraged or are feeling hopeless. Thousands upon thousands of parents are homeschooling and many who have children in public or private school are teaching and sharing these truths in consistent ways with the next generation. I know dozens of families with young children who are committed to Freedom and understand the sacredness of our responsibility to teach, promote, and share freedom with the rest of humanity.
Please read Horowitz's book if you feel any inclination to leftist radical activism. It will cure your of such delusions in a matter of hours.
Jenny Hatch
[...]
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3.0 out of 5 stars Another "red diaper babe" outed, Sept. 14 2003
This review is from: Radical Son: A Generational Oddysey (Paperback)
How a reasonably intelligent man moved from 'way over there' politically, to 'way over here' is the superstructure of David Horowitz's interesting autobiography which tracks his political and philosophical epiphany. Like Saul of Tarsus who was stricken on the Road to Damascus and changed from a prosecutor to a defender of those he attacked, Horowitz moved from the extreme left to the far -- but not quite the extreme -- right. From ultra liberal Communist to arch conservative, anti-Communist. From the shadows of lawlessness in support of radical groups such as the Black Panthers to the exposer of their crimes.
David Horowitz's parents were depression-era Communists, true believers, they, who raised their son in that milieu, a 'red diaper baby' as the term has become known. He matured as Communist radical during the wild and rambunctious 60's -- the Hippy Era -- in which he became an active participant in the anti-Vietnam war crowd, associating with criminals such as Huey Newton, Eldrige Cleaver and the arch villainess, Elaine Brown. During that era, Horowitz wrote for and, for a time, edited The Ramparts magazine -- the era's showpiece periodical which pushed the radical point of view: anti-establishment, anti-war, anti-law-and-order, anti-moderation.
But then Horowitz's private life went to hell. His wife and four children left him, there were two other failed marriages after that. His private life seemed to have no core, perhaps because he failed to see and appreciate its importance. He mourned throughout the book that he could not "connect with" his father, a remote, intellectual Marxist. There were periods of depression and analysis but through it all -- and to his credit -- Horowitz continued to write and to produce. In partnership with Peter Collier they wrote best-settlers: the histories of the Rockerfellers, The Fords and the Kennedys. And -- even more to his credit -- Horowitz writes lavishly in his praise and appreciation of Collier to whom he gives most of the credit for their publishing success.
But what made Horowitz flip? He is not entirely clear. But it seems that the odyssey began with his and Collier's departure with the left over homosexuality and AIDS. But then the other strands that bound him to the left began to unravel to such a point that he finally considered Ronald Reagan heroic rather than archaic. He infers that much of his 'conversion' is the reverting to the core of his Jewish culture and tradition, even though he is an admitted agnostic. And it is entirely likely that the conservative point of view is more valuable in preserving his appreciation of his Jewish culture than would a more liberal view.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Read the squirming lefties, June 20 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Radical Son: A Generational Oddysey (Paperback)
Hi I'm Tim Kidd and I call myself a 'radical Leftist!" Hooboy run and hide from those who label themselves this way and then pretty much realize that self-righteous louts like this are the ones that Horowitz luckily got the hell away from when he grew up and actually thought. And of course the review that calls Horowitz a 'phony' is too rich. Did you even read the book?? Do you have any conception whatsoever about the life journey that Horowitz has traveled to reach his views? Horowitz's education, family experience, and extensive travels and publications not to mention his travels with the likes of Bertrand Russell, Huey Newton, Jean Genet, and a veritable who's who of icons of the 60's radical generation make fleas like Kidd seem even more inconsequential than they know they already are. The Left just can't deal with people who experience life and reflect on their experiences beyond simply mentioning how much they hate Ayn Rand and then lavish praise on trendy postmodernism which they in a free capitalistic society have the luxury to indulge their petty minds. Rock on Dave Horowitz! ...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding, May 20 2003
By 
This review is from: Radical Son: A Generational Oddysey (Paperback)
I married into America, so I have a few blanks I'm trying to fill in. Why is the Vietnam War such a volatile topic here? How can a two party system work so effectively? This book sheds some much needed light on both of these topics.
It documents the painful contradictions between a person helping others and the government using force to make people help eachother. Horowitz is completly defenceless in his description of how harmless college liberals who want to help people turn into individuals who justify any means to gain what they see as correct behaviour in their neighbours. In doing this he also tells some of the truth about Vietnam. His description of the aids epidemic in San Fran also struck me as true...exposing what one can still see happening today as people react with political correctness, allowing the infection to spread.
The book also lets one see how the two party system takes full advantage of the pendulum of human reaction. When one side gets too radical it looses proponents thus the culture swings from Liberal to Conservative and maybe back.
Finally "Radical Son" also paints an alarmingly intimate portrait of the author which really ups it's beach book appeal, and, like watching VH1's Behind the Music, leaves you understanding a man better than you did before reading the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Is the child the father to the man?, March 15 2003
By 
D. Freund (Fall Creek, WI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Radical Son: A Generational Oddysey (Paperback)
.
This book fails to deliver on its promise to explain Mr. Horowitz's intellectual journey from left to right. For example, when speaking of his decision (made with a friend) to vote for Reagan, Mr. Horowitz tells us: "In truth, neither of us had systematically thought our way to a conservative position. Our attitude was more a rejection of the postures we had taken in the past that had proved so empty and destructive."
The problem, I suppose, is that of any autobiographer - the difficulty of self-analysis and self-revelation. For example, Mr. Horowitz devotes a lengthy passage to his slow and emotionally wrenching discovery and acceptance of the likelihood that a close friend had died at the hands of his Black Panther associates and only later, almost as if it was an afterthought, does he mention that his marriage was disintegrating at about the same time. How did each of these events affect his reaction to the other? Either Mr. Horowitz doesn't know or he isn't saying. So, while Mr. Horowitz's rejection of the violence, deceit and censorship (i.e. political correctness) he found at the far left is certainly understandable, at the end of the book we still don't know why he threw the liberal baby out with the radical bathwater.
All that said, this book does provide a facinating cautionary tale against unquestioning faith, whether the object is a person, an organization or an idea. Unfortunately, this message is delivered in an Ayn Rand world in which almost everyone on the left, and no one on the right, turns out to be a scalawag. (Thus, the excesses of McCarthyism are excused because, by golly, there actually were a few communists in the government in the 50s. And that Franco fellow? Why, he was just doing his part to prepare Spain for the democracy that followed his death.)
The question left for the reader is whether Mr. Horowitz has learned his own lesson. Or has the radical leftist son become the radical rightist adult?
.
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1.0 out of 5 stars is anybody awake here?, Dec 14 2002
By 
dan (New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Radical Son: A Generational Oddysey (Paperback)
don't any of you people see what a phony this guy is? i found a recent article of his online called "100,000 communists march on washington to gave aid and comfort to saddam hussein"... anybody who can say wallop like that with a straight face needs to have his head SERIOUSLY examined.
david horowitz is on self-important crusade to spew as much conservative rhetoric as possible while doing as little research as he can. his writing is full of unsubstantiated claims and absurd conclusions, usually degenerating into crass name calling. if you thought trent lott and george w were embarrassments to conservatives they have nothing on this guy.
if you are one of those people who think that communists flourinated water in the fifties and secretly infiltrated our society then you and joe mccarthy will probably eat this stuff up, but if you have any reason whatsover or (gasp!) openmindedness you will want to stay far far away. (unless you read this for amusement to see how ignorant somebody can be and still get published)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey Out of Darkness, Sept. 12 2002
I have been a dedicated anti-communist since I was 8 years old, and could never understand how anyone could be a Marxist. Thanks to David, I was able to vicariously look at the world through Marxist eyes. As I suspected, Marxists are big on utopian dreams and very short on practicalities, such as...when the free market is outlawed, who is going to make what, and how will it be distributed? After tearing down the existing order, radicals don't have a clue as to what to do when the revolution is won...which explains the post-revolution economic chaos in countries like Chile.
Horowitz's discussion of radical violence, e.g., murder of its own followers, was disturbing and I had trouble sleeping right after reading it. The Panthers and their ilk were so murderous and evil that it is difficult to understand how some on the Left idolize them even today. As "Radical Son" makes clear, the Panthers were nothing more than thugs, a drug-peddling, violent street gang using "Marxism" as a front.
It was their violence, however, that started Horowitz on his journey out of political darkness. He experienced a true "paradigm shift," in which all the major assumptions of his life were painfully reexamined. He is now a convert to conservatism with invaluable insights into the radical mind.
Horowitz is a talented writer and conveys complex thoughts in an economy of words. I plan to read all of his books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superman Lives!, Sept. 3 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Radical Son: A Generational Oddysey (Paperback)
The forces of law and order, sense and justice, still exist. This book places almost the entire left in the camp of dysfunctional black sheep. It corroborates my own arc through the radical agenda -- almost everyone in it comes from a family that didn't function, and they hate their families as a result. The symptom is a dream about how all of the world will one day unite in brother and sister hood under their red boot.
The chapters on the Black Panthers were vivid and telling. Huey Newton was a gangster with a squeaky voice, hopped up on drugs. George Jackson said, "Marxism is my hustle."
Their liberal white brothers, such as Tom Hayden, were just violent lunatics on the make, ... and happy to sacrifice innocent lives.
This is exactly right. The same is true in the French left, all the way through the gamut. The leaders all hated their families, and so on, and so they dreamed of a universal family of misfits.
I knew Ginsberg, Burroughs, and hundreds of other top leftists. What united them is they came from broken families where at least one parent was a predatory individual, or completely psychotic.
The left is a cult of psychotic, power-addicted, fools, from Ralph Nader to Joseph Stalin.
Horowitz dissects this humorless, self-righteous lot, and basically does them in. The book is true, and more importantly, it is smart.
I hope the left doesn't assassinate him and that he can go on telling the truth for another couple of decades. Someone this smart who has run the gamut of leftist nonsense and lived to tell on it is worth their ducats. If you doubt the left, this is the book to put your last remaining pieties on the canvas with a thunderous right-cross. This man spent decades with the left. When he hits, every blow resounds. The left stinks, and deserves everything Horowitz' howitzer can hit them with.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, July 16 2002
By 
"rbean456" (Saint Louis, MO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Radical Son: A Generational Oddysey (Paperback)
This is one of the most interesting and powerful books I have ever read. David Horowitz lays his soul bare for all to see in this heartrending account of his political transformation.
Horowitz's upbringing as a "red diaper baby" is fascinating. His days at camp Wo-Chi-Ca (Workers Childrens Camp) illustrate the early indoctrination communists parents put their kids through. They sang the praises of Red October and were taught of the supposed evils of capitalism. In short, this portion of the book illustrates how thoudands of children were brought up to be strangers in their own country.
From there he reveals how the Left's world was shattered when Krushchev announced that Stalin's crimes were indeed true. That's when the New Left was formed, and naturally he was a part of it. From there he toiled with the New Left's cadres to work out ways to practice communism without committing the crimes of Stalin and others. Then came Vietnam.
Of course he was against America's involvement in the war. Nothing unusual there. What is unusual is his honesty about those days. Many radicals now claim that they merely opposed America's involvement in Vietnam. Horowitz shows that they did have a horse in that race and it wasn't the south. In fact he and they wanted the communists to win.

It was also during this time that his radical politics brought him into the circle of the Black Panthers. The Panthers were the darlings of the New Left, with their Marxist platitudes and violent ways. He brought in an old friend to help with the books at a community center he and the Panthers sponsored. A few months later she was missing and a few weeks after that her beaten body was found in the SF Bay. Contacts inside the Panthers told him that she was murdered by the Panthers.
He began to realize that his radical politics had turned moral norms upside down, making heroes out of thugs, bombers and murderers and demonizing ordinary decent Americans. This caused many years of soul-searching. When he re-emerged, his whole worldview had changed. Like I said, powerful. Read it and cry for a lost generation.
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Radical Son: A Generational Oddysey
Radical Son: A Generational Oddysey by David Horowitz (Paperback - April 21 1998)
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