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on October 13, 2003
This book connects the dots between the files in the Soviet archives and the history of the American Communist subversion of the political and economic systems of the United States. The title of this book begs the question as to why the continuum of the state of denial, the one espoused by adherents of Communism - that cruel and inhumane system of repression - still exists in America today?
A part of the answer can be found in that segment of the human condition requiring refusal to acknowledge new facts into an old theory. The reason? - Man's reluctance to change his worldview and the way he fits within it. Seeing yourself differently spells crisis at any age. The re-arranging of ones' assumption model, the one which issues forth expectations based upon a set of assumptions that one adheres to, dubious or otherwise, creates a crisis which often leads to a series of agonizing self reappraisals; a daunting prospect. Thus, it's much easier to cling to an old theory, particularly when it leads to the euphoria of self rightiousness, a condition of unbounded virtue; and, this is one of the essential lures that makes the Communist "faith" so seductive. So, they care for the oppressed, and if you're not with them, then you don't.
Communism differs from religion only in the sense that it promises a utopia here on earth as opposed to one in the after-life. Eric Hoffer's, "the true Believer" speaks to this message rather well.
In the final analysis it matters not what one scored on his SAT's or whether he made the Dean's list, it's only his capacity for self deception which governs the extent to which he will blinker himself. This also holds true for women, perhaps even more so. I believe the geneticists will uncover a lobe in the brain for judgement, the ability to make proportionate, balanced decisions all day long without emotional overlap. I also believe that fewer than 15% of people have this inborne capability. Anecdotally, that's roughly the same number who are the swing votes in political elections. They can change their minds without shortcircuiting emotionally. The other 85% have more difficulty.
Just as technlogy has always changed the balance of power throughout the course of human history, the micro chip, by fueling the telecommunications boom, has allowed more people to get more information, more quickly, than at any time in human history. "Information" helped implode the Soviet Union and it will in like form expose the Communist, academic revisionists in America for all to see. It's happening now in video media, in Hollywood, in book publishing, in universities, and in the labor movement. It's happening to the radical Leftist leaders of N.O.W. and to those who use the environmental movement to mask their Leftist intentions. Society is changing all around us. To see it requires a knowledge of history and some helicopter perspective. It's a beautiful thing for those of us who continue the quest for human freedom and individual liberty for all.
This book is just one more piece of evidence which bit by bit exposes the Pharassic scandals of those on the Left who continue "in denial". It should be recommended reading for all, particularly college age students, it's that important!
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on January 12, 2004
The statement made in the Publisher's Weekly review that "this uncompromising manifesto" compares Left-wing historians' sympathy for American Communism to Holocaust denial is not entirely accurate. While much of the book does focus on the blindness of academia to facts about the American Communist Party being a subversive tool of the Kremlin and revelations from the Soviet archives about the extent of Soviet espionage in America (Leftists often attempt to deflect the issue with red herrings about "McCarthyism." Just check out the negative reviews), what Haynes and Klehr do compare to Holocaust denial is the continued whitewashing of Stalinism by radical left-wing revisionists such as J. Arch Getty, Robert W. Thurston, Gabriel Kolko, Theodore Von Laue, Fredric Jameson, Barbara Foley, Grover Furr and others. Actually, they are probably worse than holocaust deniers because their defense and/or denial of Stalinist mass murder largely go unchallenged, unlike Holocaust revisionism. And, as the book says: "The number of apologists for the former Soviet Union and its mass murders dwarfs the handful of aberrant pro-Nazi academics in America." (pg 13) Do you think this is an exaggeration?
Von Laue defends Lenin, Stalin and the totalitarian murder machine they created: "How then are we to judge Stalin? Viewed in the full historical context Stalin appears as one of the most impressive figures of the twentieth century." "Regard for individual life was a necessary sacrifice in Lenin's ambition to enhance life in the future." "The specific design of Soviet totalitarianism has perhaps not been sufficiently appreciated. However brutal, it was a remarkable human achievement despite its flaws." (pg 24-26) This apologist for mass murder is a "professor" and one of the authors of a much used history book.
Kolko, another revisionist whose books were widely assigned as college texts, whitewashes the brutal mass slaughter of thousands of helpless prisoners at Katyn stating "Whoever destroyed the officers at Katyn had taken a step toward implementing a social revolution in Poland." He also states that "Katyn was the exception" in Soviet behavior and "its relative importance....must be downgraded very considerably." (pg 21)
Thurston, a "professor" at Miami University of Ohio, claims that Stalin "was not guilty of first degree murder from 1934-1941 and did not plan or carry out a systematic campaign to crush the nation." (pg 24)
Furr, an *English* professor at Montclair State University, praised the blood-drenched Communist revolutions in Russia and China: "The greatest historical events in the twentieth century - in fact, in all of human history - have been the overthrow of capitalism and establishment of societies run by and for the working class in the two great communist revolutions in Russia and China." (pg 27)
Can one honestly say that these examples don't compare to Holocaust revisionists and their whitewashing of Hitler? These apologists for tyranny and deniers of genocide should be just as reviled as David Irving and his ilk, and should not be accepted in American higher education.
I addition to this book I'd recommend "A Century of Violence in Soviet Russia" by Alexander Yakovlev, an excellent work of history that tells the truth about the criminal nature of Lenin, Stalin and the USSR.
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on October 13, 2003
Heynes and Klehr finally expose the lies that academia has been feeding to its students for years. A superb read for anyone who wants to know the truth about communism in this country and in the world.
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on April 19, 2004
I write about the history of American space policy and strategic reconnaissance and one of the things I strive to do is dig into archives and find newly available sources to further our understanding of events. So I was interested in this book because one of the themes is how some historians of American communism and labor are actually _not_ interested in newly available information because it threatens their worldview. I find it amazing that historians are not trying to get as much of this information as possible.
But there were other amazing aspects of this book. I was aware of people who long denied the brutality of communism. There are certainly many people in academia right now who still write glowing commentaries on Fidel Castro, for instance. But I was not aware that there are current tenured professors of history who write glowingly of Joseph Stalin. Some of the quotes in this book from these people are jaw-dropping (some of them have been reproduced in other reviews on this website). I think that Haynes and Klehr are right to note that it is amazing not only that these people exist, but that some of them hold (or held) prominent positions in academia. They are correct in noting that Holocaust-deniers and Nazi-sympathizers are rare and regularly suppressed by the historian community whereas people who hold equally repugnant views about communism are often held in high esteem by their colleagues.
I attended the Venona conference that they mention, and have read some of their previous works. I am also somewhat familiar with the academic study of the Hiss and Rosenberg cases, where some individuals insisted for decades of their absolute innocence, but are now shown to be massively wrong. As recently as a few months ago the New York Times printed a mopey article that complained that the real travesty was not that the Rosenbergs ran a spy ring that provided the Soviet Union with vital secrets, but that they were executed in a show trial.
But I must fault Haynes and Klehr somewhat on their misuse of the terms "traditionalists" and "revisionists." They admittedly create these terms as shorthand for the groups they are discussing, but this introduces problems to the discussion, because these terms already have their own meanings within the historical community. And they aren't really accurate anyway. History that is properly done is by definition revisionist, for it attempts to revise our understanding of events. And Haynes and Klehr in many ways are seeking to revise the previously popular view of subjects such as the Communist Party of the USA with new sources and sophisticated interpretation. So doesn't that make them "revisionists" as well?
But this is only a small criticism. This is a fascinating book.
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on February 22, 2004
As a person studying to be an historian this book was a breath of fresh air. It was also very disturbing, that so many historians have defended, explicitly, Stalin, Lenin, and so on. Their point is well taken, historians who apologized for Hitler would be laughed out of the profession, but those who apologize and downplay the crimes of the Soviet Union and the murderous and amoral ideology of communism (which any objective review will tell you is hardly distinguishable from fascism) are hailed as respectable historians. Hopefully, this work and others will help towards laughing those "historians" who ignore the facts to promote communism and all of its watered down welfare statism variants out of the field.
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on July 14, 2004
Haynes and Klehr tell a story that few acknowledge and it concerns the fetish that many of our professiorial anti-elite have towards the Soviet Union. These academics lie and minimize, and follow it up with indoctrinating those youth who are unfortunate enough to take their classes at the university. They recognize that a solid study of communism and the USSR would result students being eternally grateful that they live in the west as opposed to elsewhere. This may be precisely the reason that radicals distort and relativize objective history. Kudos to Klehr and Haynes for producing this valuable work. Incidentally, some of you may recognize a section that is quite familiar concerning the way the left manufacted the phrase "Premature Antifacists." It was supposedly stamped on the army files of those who served in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain after they then enlisted in the American army during WW II. It's a nice tale but that's exactly what it is. This ruse was merely a way to demean our military. The chapter originally appeared in a 2002 article in The New Criterion and it is an engaging page turner. In Denial is worth every penny.
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on November 25, 2003
This book is a great follow on to their work on the Venona project. As someone who has seen my kids suffer in many classes at their universities by challenging the nonsense that is spouted by tenured leftists, this book would be a wonderful gift to any student who is going to be subjected to the propaganda called "higher education" at many of our leading schools. "In Denial" is more than an expose' however, since it shows that taxpayers are wasting billions of dollars in tax-supported schools where students are not educated about the evils of Communism, but just the reverse, where academic revisionists now try to rewrite history to their liking instead of dealing with the facts of Communist infiltration into American and Western society while Stalin put more people to death than Hitler.
This book will be totally ignored by the media who have been trained well to speak nothing but good about the true evils of Communism and its followers in academia today.
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on November 24, 2003
...and the facts are that the CP's own records clearly show the depth of treason and espionage these apologists try and ignore.
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on October 27, 2003
After reading the comments from the reader from New Haven, it becomes clear why this book's title is a perfect fit.
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on April 17, 2004
Neatly dividing academic historians of American communism into two camps of "traditionalists" and "revisionists," the authors proceed to tar all of the "revisionists" with the same brush. Partly writing in response to the reception accorded their earlier works and , they task the "revisionists" for deceptive historical scholarship when it comes to all things communist and anticommunist in American life.
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