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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: New English Review Press; First edition (June 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0578080761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0578080765
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,639,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A challenging and provocative look at the history of “right wing” vs. “left wing” political movements and personalities. Dr. Berdichevsky shatters the ideological prism those terms impose. This book will change the way you view the political world, forever.

--Rebecca Bynum, author of Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion

 

Norman Berdichevsky peels away the superficial layers of Left and Right, digs deep into history, unearths the complex political realities masked by a Good guys-Bad guys dichotomy devised by the Left for its own self-glorification, and brings to light the moral imperative.  

--Nidra Poller, novelist and journalist

 

In his "twenty-five case studies of crises, wars, alliances, conflicts, personalities and elections" Norman Berdichevsky clarifies the confusing history of Left-Right terminologies. He illustrates why a single dimension is insufficient to understand the differences and the unlikely alignments of supposed political opposites.

Be prepared to be enlightened, surprised and entertained as Dr. Berdichevsky lays bare the history behind the history you thought you knew proving that politics makes for strange bedfellows indeed.

  --Baron Bodissey (Editor, Gates of Vienna)

 

The malcontents gnawing at the fabric of western society thought they found a safe place hiding under the misnomer of "progressives".  And then came the savvy Norman Berdichevsky!  

--Judi McLeod, editor Canada Free Press

 

It is the darkest times that most anxiously call for light. In a world of lies, the light we hold to is truth. Norman Berdichevsky's work represents a courageous truth. Truth about the world we live in and those who would destroy it. To stand up to lies in a world of them requires courage, and to tell the truth requires even more.

--Daniel Greenfield (Editor, Sultan Knish)

--New English Review

The terms LEFT and RIGHT are so taken for granted in any discourse on political affairs that Dr. Berdichevsky s remarkable book appears as a welcome antidote to get us off the habit. It is a novel, insightful and well written treatise that should be required reading in any 101 course on political science and international affairs.

The twenty five case studies cover a varied range of both American and international affairs and history that reveal how often the political extremes on both the Right and Left have found a common front that ..... Glorify and deify abstractions such as The Nation, The Working Class, The Party, The Race, The King, The Leader, The Church and worst of all, The People

The book also contains an engaging personal note on how the author matured from radical and impressionable teenager, captivated by the language of the Left, convinced that it is always right, to the mature student of human nature and fallibility that is apparent in his judgment today.

This is indeed a book that suits the times with the approaching American presidential election of 2012 in which a large segment of the public may be expected to follow the same trajectory of political thinking by rejecting the glamour appeals of the Left with its penchant for identifying itself with so called progressive policies.

A large element in the book deals with how popular culture, particularly the cinema, has molded opinion in identifying its heroes with a false image of THE LEFT and why Hollywood has never dealt honestly with either the crimes of Stalinism and the gulags, Pol Pot, Castro, Arafat, or the principled resistance in World War II to the Nazis on the part of conservative, Christian, monarchist, nationalist and authoritarian parties and leaders... --The Discriminate Thinker

Last year, Dr. Berdichevsky published two books, one on Danish culture and the other on the Left-Right dichotomy. He engages popular culture, films, and the news media to explain why radical leftism is embraced as heroic, while traditional culture is denigrated. Many writers pursue this theme, but few do so with such an interesting and accessible range of topics. It is rare today to find writers who earn the title public intellectual and even more rare that they receive their due: Norman Berdichevsky is a public intellectual in the best sense of the term, and his books and articles deserve a larger audience. --Tina Trent --The Dissident Professor

About the Author

Norman Berdichevsky is the author of The Danish-German Border Dispute, Nations, Language and Citizenship, Spanish Vignettes; An Offbeat Look into Spain's Culture, Society & History and An Introduction to Danish Culture. He is the author of more than 200 articles and book reviews that have appeared in a variety of American, British, Danish, Israeli and Spanish periodicals and is a contributing editor for New English Review.

Customer Reviews

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The book starts with a tribute to Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism, but takes the story much further.
Billy Rojas
This book by Norman Berdichevsky is a welcome addtion to the political commentary of recent and current times, with perspectives of great insight.
Michael A. Zimmerman
Moreover, he does a great job of revealing that the emperor (media, Europe, the left, etc.) has no clothes (in their demonization of Israel).
loring6

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Zimmerman on August 1, 2011
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
This exceptional book is directed, the author writes, "primarily to reach all those ... who grew up in an ultra liberal environment assuming that 'the left is is always right.'" Thus the book's title. The extremes of Left and Right, both often wrong, actually meet on many issues.
Several of the 25 chapters describe examples of European conservatives and right-wingers fighting the Nazis.
During Spain's civil war (1930s), Gen. Franco's military forces were supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Berdichevsky reminds the reader that Franco went on to keep "right-wing" Spain neutral during WWII, making possible British naval operations in the Med, and that "right-wing" Franco also provided refuge to Jews escaping occupied France.
The book describes George Orwell's conversion to anti-Commnism while in Spain as a volunteer with the International Brigade in the late 1930s. Orwell wrote about the corrosive murderousness of communists and anarchists who grew to dominate the Republican alliance. The brave idealism of the volunteers to Spain and their horrendous casualties are described, while Berdichevsky suggests the side on which they fought, as it developed, may not have deserved their heroic contributions.
Another story is told of a far less-known volunteer movement, which aided Finland when it was attacked in 1939 by the USSR, just after Germany and the USSR as allies crushed Poland.
Berdichevsky shows "anti-Semitism was not inherently a part of many nationalist 'right-wing' movements and that it is generated today overwhelmingly from the Far Left encouraged by the wealth and power of militant Islam.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Billy Rojas on August 10, 2011
Format: Perfect Paperback
The Censored History of the Political Left

Norman Berdichevsky's new 2011 book deserves serious attention. Entitled, The Left is Seldom Right, the volume discusses a range of important --current-- political issues from a unique perspective that so far is mostly absent from the blogosphere and from the writings of the punditocracy.

Berdichevsky clearly has strong political views and is an outspoken critic of the Obama administration, but he is a political independent more than anything else and analyzes contemporary problems in an altogether fresh way.

The book starts with a tribute to Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism, but takes the story much further. Still, for anyone who has read Goldberg's book Berdichevsky's follow-up will be very welcome. Here is the influence of Liberal Fascism but given new perspective, so unlike many other writers who also have been impressed by Goldberg but mostly have taken his theory as strict doctrine, rather than as a starting place from
which to rethink contemporary politics.

From one viewpoint Goldberg's thesis, that the far Left and the far Right converge, needs substantial modification since he seems to assume only a Marxist Left as bona fide, when in fact the Left was an amalgam of many different radical movements until well into the 20th century. Hence there is this weakness in Berdichevsky's volume also, since he does likewise. However, and the word deserves highlighting, there is so much more to Berdichevsky's overall argument that it would be almost pointless to get into a debate about this kind of reservation.

When reading The Left is Seldom Right you may also come to think to yourself,as I did, that several chapters should receive further treatment.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By King David on October 31, 2011
Format: Perfect Paperback
In "The Left is Seldom Right", Dr. Norman Berdichevsky writes with the authority & clarity born only of a true and complete knowledge and understanding of the subject. This is a book you will read more than once, quote often during debates and recommend to your friends . . . and they will thank you! - - Masterfully done, -- Bravo!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SUSAN W PHIPPS on November 8, 2011
Format: Perfect Paperback
As I went through this marvelous book, I had to think as I read, since these labels changed vastly over time. We are so quick as a society to plant these words like a Scarlett Letter on other people. As I went through this history, I realized these terms have had very different meanings. Thanks for this read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ned May on September 23, 2011
Format: Perfect Paperback
Being a student of European history, my first introduction to Norman Berdichevsky's work was through a gift from my wife: this work on the Danish-German border dispute is for anyone who likes Europe's cultural history.The Danish-German Border Dispute, 1815-2001: Aspects of Cultural and Demographic Politics

So when "The Left is Seldom Right" came out, I knew it would be full of useful information. And so it is.

For one thing, the chapters can be read as stand-alone essays.

For another, it's full of "recent-ancient" history. For example, what *really* happened in 1948 when Truman gave Israel official US recogition, and the "striped pants boys" at the Dept of State were most unhappy with that decision.

Truman comes across as he really was (or at least as he sounds in his own autobiography): a feisty, humane, intelligent-but-uncredentialed outsider. He wasn't one of the elites like Marshall and the others. But he was people smart and he rose thru the ranks of the Dem political machine back home in Missouri. When he was appointed as Vice President it was a strategic move to capture some of the middle America vote; a nod to the "common people" - which FDR decidedly was not.

No one ever expected Truman would have to run anything. That's why he was given so little chance to win re-election by the pros. I wish there had been a picture in the book - the famous picture - of Truman triumphantly holding that newspaper, printed in the thousands ahead of time, With HUGE font headlines about Dewey's win. Truman's big smile in that photo is immensely enjoyable.
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