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10/10/2011

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Thanks for this, Mac. I've been reluctant to read the book myself for the same reasons you mention, but I'm glad to hear that Horowitz has toned down the polemic.

Speaking of Chambers, you may want to take a look at Michael Kimmage's recent book 'The Conservative Turn,' which is a look at the intellectual life of the Cold War era couched as a sort of compare-and-contrast of the life and work of Chambers and Lionel Trilling. Also very much worth reading is Eric Miller's recent life of C. Lasch, which I think I mentioned here before.


I may have mentioned before that Bill and I met at the Newman Center when we were working on a rather quixotic peace rally called Satyagraha. I don't think any of us had a clue what that meant. I don't think any of us really had a clue what we were doing. I came into it rather late, but I knew all the people working on it well (except Bill). One friend's family kept telling her that they knew for a fact that there were Communists behind the rally. Nothing she could say would convince them that they were wrong.

Well, it turned out to be rather a comedy of errors, but one thing that happened--and the reason why I brought this up--was that the Black Panthers showed up and wanted to hand out materials. This was a little scary. The sister who was with us talked to them and I don't remember exactly what happened because there were so many other things going wrong.

But one good thing came out of it anyway.

AMDG

That's cool, I knew it was at the NC but didn't know (or had forgotten) that it was at a peace rally.

Rob, I feel pretty safe in saying you would find RS worthwhile. It's actually been around for a while--originally published in 1994, I think. As you know he's still pretty strident on the job, so to speak, but apparently also still writing books that are more personal and not that way.

Horowitz has not turned down the rhetoric in person. The last time I heard him on the radio he was shouting down (literally) a Jewish critic of Israel, calling him a "self-hating Jew".
I really have no interest in reading an autobiography by a guy who to all appearances is a complete boor.

I have not heard of this Horowitz. This article says something similar about Terry Eagleton, who must be about the same age - that he is a Marxist purely for the pleasure of having something to feel morally superior about

http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2011/10/the-opium-of-terry-eagleton

I didn't even know he had a radio show. Which I guess is not surprising since I very rarely listen to the radio.

There is a passage in the book, one of several which I plan to post later, in which he says he made a deliberate choice to keep the take-no-prisoners rhetorical style of the left when he switched sides (big mistake, in my opinion). Which may partly explain the difference between the polemicist and the memoirist. RS was written in 1994, and I wondered if the stridency had taken over since then. But two years ago he published this book about his daughter, which by all accounts is very tender and thoughtful.

We cross-posted, ResEx--I was replying to DN, which I guess was obvious.

I just read the first few paragraphs of that piece, and must wait till later to read the rest, but already it touches on some very rich ideas.

If you haven't already, click on the link to Front Page in the post, you'll see what I'm talking about as regards Horowitz's style. "Strident" is an understatement. You wouldn't believe, looking at that site, that he could write a rich & reflective book.

I wouldn't say that his family were Marxists in order to feel superior, but it certainly enabled them to.

Wow I clicked the link. Strident. In fact, moving between radio stations the other day (I flee the Protestant WAUS when they start getting 'end of the worldly' and flee 'Hits of the 60s and 70s' when the play 'Sweet Caroline), I heard my first 'shock jock'. He too was ranting about Occupy Wall Street. For ten seconds I must admit I thought 'thank heavens I don't live in the USA' then I realised, I do live in the USA! I don't generally think that way - I like the people here.

End of the worldy! Is what I meant.

End of the worldly would be OK!

In small doses during Lent and Advent.

For oneself, anyway. I recommend bigger doses for other people.

"WAUS"?

I don't know if "shock jocks" is even the term anymore--they're so normal.

I have a special grudge against "Sweet Caroline" because I once worked in a record store where the cashier played a Neil Diamond greatest hits album constantly. SC is the song I particularly remember.

Oh, I see--for some reason I was taking that as an acronym, not a radio station, even though you were talking about radio.

I finally finished that piece about Terry Eagleton. "multiple house-owning celebrity academic Terry Eagleton." It is an enduring mystery to me that people like him don't seem to see any problem with being rich themselves. Al Gore is another example, as are any number of wealthy entertainers. It's not even hypocrisy exactly--it's more blind than that. Hypocrisy connotes some awareness that one is doing something against one's principles.

Anyway, that's a really good piece. I especially liked the observation that Marx was "clueless about the Really Existing Proletariat."

I thought it was good too.

I really have no interest in reading an autobiography by a guy who to all appearances is a complete boor.

[chuckles]

As in the rules against pass interference, play the ball, not the man. Automatic first down to Daniel.

Your friend. You're stuck with him.

Hey Art, you coward, what's your real name? And why this neurotic hostility toward me? Odd, very odd.

No more.

I really ought to delete everything starting with Art's "boor" comment, but it really goes against my grain to remove comments, apart from spam.

Thank you for giving me a second chance. After all the political battle is the political battle and requires a style that doesn't leave much room for nuance, and understanding it is something else again. If you will send me a mailing address I will have my office send you my most recent book which is also written by the other David Horowitz.

I will certainly do that. I've been thinking I'd like to read it. Thank you.

"...the political battle is the political battle...understanding it is something else..." A valid distinction.

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