The Scene of the Crime: An Excerpt from 'American Betrayal'
David Horowitz has recently leveled grave charges at Breitbart against my credibility as a writer based on my new book, American Betrayal. Indeed, according to Horowitz, I “should not have written this book.” Thankfully, he is not in charge of free speech in this country, and St. Martin’s Press, which also published my first book, The Death of the Grown-Up, had other ideas.
Horowitz bases this stunning statement on the “extreme claims” he alleges are contained in my book, which, he says, “not only serve to discredit her work but lead her into insoluble dilemmas.” He says the problem – my problem -- is “intellectual.”
It’s difficult to tell what he’s talking about, at least with regard to what I have actually written. He goes on to list a series of historical fragments related in some way to events covered in my book – for example, the debate over whether to invade Europe in northern France vs. Churchill’s favored strategy to expand from the Italian front into the Balkans.
I do treat this debate at length, particularly with regard to the machinations of Harry Hopkins, FDR’s top wartime advisor and undeviating booster of what would be the famed Normandy invasion. Readers of the following excerpt from American Betrayal (below) should know that there is a case to be made from varied sources that Hopkins was an agent of Stalin’s influence inside the FDR White House. I lay that case out in detail in American Betrayal.
If the work that went into my book is solid, even more history needs rewriting – regardless of whether, as David Horowitz says about my book, “this is not how anyone should think about history-making events and the political forces that shape them.” The fact is, if the record I have assembled (citing 900-plus endnotes) is correct, FDR might not be as great as we think he is, and, to address the flip side, Sen. Joseph McCarthy might not be as awful as we think he is, and just that changes almost everything about what we “know” as a people.
I believe it is this explosive topic that seems to be driving my critics to ad hominem attacks, perhaps unexpectedly, at conservative sites from Frontpage Magazine to The American Thinker, to National Review Online and the New York Sun. Instead of discussing the contents of my book, they attack my accuracy, honesty, even my sanity; also, instead of just ignoring my book, they try to make me radioactive so readers won’t even to think about the ideas inside it for themselves.
This becomes a question readers will have to make up their own minds about. To that end, I am happy to provide to Breitbart Chapter 9 of American Betrayal in full, including its 84 endnotes. I look forward to reading comments from people who have, for a change, read at least part of my book.
The endnotes for the following excerpt can be found here. Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character, available now.
CHAPTER NINE American Betrayal -