The war of words to define American Betrayal as being beyond the boundaries of rational, productive debate is over. The same book that Ronald Radosh condemned as “yellow journalism conspiracy theories,” and that David Horowitz publicly declared I “should not have written,” former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky and his colleague Pavel Stroilov have now praised as “huge and brilliant.”
The 5,000-word Bukovsky-Stroilov review, which recently appeared at Breitbart News, may be an author’s dream come true, but that’s not to say the Russians are “correct.” What ends this war of words is that Bukovsky and Stroilov have decisively laid to rest the diktat, originating at Frontpage Magazine, that there can be no diverging from the orthodoxy about me and my book as set forth by Frontpage and echoed, completely unopposed for the past eight weeks, in a series of copycat pieces on multiple, leading conservative sites.
(Kudos to Breitbart News for being the gigantic exception in covering and featuring all sides of the debate. Kudos also to Canadian poet, author, and essayist David Solway for being the lone Frontpage contributor to publish two dissents — elsewhere. And a big shout-out to the spirited commenters and bloggers — in Horowitz’s words, the “kook army” — who spontaneously erupted in my defense, or, more important, in defense of free and civil debate after the appearance of every attack-piece.)
Establishing a party line, a conservative party line, against American Betrayal seems to have been what spurred Frontpage into battle from the start — that moment, in Horowitz’s telling, when Radosh persuaded him to remove an initial, positive review of my book from the Frontpage website on July 8, 2013. It was as if to say there would and should be only one response to my book, and he, Radosh, would write it.
The success of the ensuing effort, spearheaded by Radosh’s 7,000-word “take-down” (his word) of American Betrayal published at Frontpage on August 7, 2013, was always going to depend on making positive opinions of American Betrayal seem suspect, glaringly ignorant, or the result of my supposed wiles.
For example, pace Radosh, I “seduced” highly respected conservative writers such as Amity Shlaes and Monica Crowley into “reckless endorsements” of American Betrayal — even whole entities, such as The Heritage Foundation and Breitbart News. It is notable that the endorsement of celebrated Cold War scholar M. Stanton Evans, which is on the cover of my book, and, subsequently, his article, “In Defense of Diana West,” haven’t been mentioned in any of the attacks. I have suspected all along that this is a tactic to pretend such respected validation doesn’t exist.
There was no ignoring Bukovsky and Stroilov’s review, however. It thoroughly neutralizes the Horowitz-Radosh attempt to enforce a party line on American Betrayal. No matter what is ever said about me or American Betrayal again, there is now and always will be this uniquely formidable Other Side. This is why when the Bukovsky-Stroilov review appeared on September 28, 2013, the Frontpage campaign collapsed for good.
Read the rest at Breitbart, including Ms. West’s correction of yet another (deliberate? inadvertent?) error made by David Horowitz in his latest FPM attack on her.
For links to previous articles about the controversy over American Betrayal, see the Diana West Archives.