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on November 5, 2013
Horowitz is a brilliant philosopher and historian. And he has done more than " hobnob" with the 60 's leftists who have, like a malignant metastasizing cancer, gradually but unmistakably taken over the schools and the media, and are in the process of destroying the soul of this great nation. He grew up the son of activist members of the Communist party, and was a mover and shaker of the radical left in the 60"s---a much more substantial contributor to that movement than lightweight Bill Ayers. He details his gradual, tortuous,and ultimately very courageous conversion to conservative writer, philosopher and activist in his book Radical Son. If you want to understand the motives and methods of the left, take a few nights off from the comparatively shallow talking heads at Fox News and read his books. There is no one else out there who so profoundly understands the left, and why it's agenda is so antithetical to the this nation as conceived by the Founders in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
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VINE VOICEon October 24, 2013
"The Black Book of the American Left" by David Horowitz (Oct. 2013), 398 pgs.

As the author (b. 1939) acknowledged in his book's inside book-cover page that he was weaned on Communist-progressive statism by his parents, and he hobnobbed during the 1960s with New Left radical figures like Huey Newton, Tom Hayden, Bill Ayers, and many other leftist/liberal "Fellow Travelers". He then underwent a transformation from Marxism to free-market individualism (although not necessarily anarchical libertinism).

This book is a collection of 41 magazine essays that the author wrote between 1986-2009, regarding many political issues.

This book is essentially about his transformation from supporting totalitarian communism to becoming a conservative individualist. It stemmed from several tragic influences. Initially, it started in December 1974 when "members of the Black Panther Party murdered a bookkeeper named Betty Van Patter whom I had recruited to keep accounts for a Panther school I had helped to create. The tragedy threw me into a personal crises, creating an ideological turmoil that was compounded five months later by the bloodbath in Southeast Asia following the Communist victory in Vietnam" (pp. 1-2).

The book is comprised of four parts:

Part I: Contains several articles explaining the development of his transformation. He recounts his discussions with various liberals who decide to ignore the killings, and how some of his former comrades turn on him for leaving -- and more unforgivable, exposing -- the 1960s-1970s Radical movement.

Part II: Contains articles "made to confront our radical cohort with the harsh realities of what we had actually done" by supporting the murderous International Communist movement in Southeast Asia and Central America (Cuba, Nicaragua, etc.).

Part III: Contains essays on the topic of "Slander as a Political Discourse", whereby the author's opponents purposefully "distort the facts of my life in order to discredit my ideas and neutralize my criticisms of the Left and its deeds". The author details the many exchanges he has had with media Liberals who don't want to acknowledge the anti-liberty aspects of the American Left.

Part IV: Contains the texts of two talks. One that he gave at the 50th class reunion at Columbia College, where he exposed the tyranny of his left-wing classmates, and the second at the Zionist Organization of American, which "Provided me an opportunity to reflect on my identity as a Jew, my attitudes towards Israel and American, and to the war against them."

This book is a great expose of the 1960s "Campus Commie" movement, and how today's liberal leftists continue to disdain individual freedom. Sadly, no index. {This is not a dictionary of Who's Who in the American Left, but there are discussions about the anti-liberal activities of many specific American liberals.}
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on October 30, 2013
This is part I of a collection of essays that introduces readers to the work of David Horowitz, former leftist and perhaps the greatest analyst of on the radical side of the political spectrum. It tells both a personal and political story and illustrates well the dysfunction among those who currently direct America. I've read just about everything David has written since 1989, and I think this collection is an ideal read for those unfamiliar with his work.
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VINE VOICEon November 7, 2013
Anyone who is familiar with the work of David Horowitz; his books, his founding of conservative movements like David Horowitz Freedom Center, Academic Bill of Rights, The Front Page, and his relentless fight against the alliance of radical Islam and the American left on college campuses must be aware that he is one of the leading members of the conservative movement in this country.

This book is the first of a planned nine volumes to be published in the coming years that chronicles his writings about the liberal and leftists groups in this country. Many of these articles are thought provoking and shed light on the slow and steady destruction of American values. These essays describe the true nature of the American left. He expresses his desire to persuade those still on the left of the destructive consequences of the ideas they believe in; and second, the frustration with the American conservatives who do not understand the American left. They need to comprehend the Marxist foundations and religious dimensions of the radical faiths such as Islam or the hatred it inspires and propagates. Those who disagree with Horowitz's political views distort his writings and class them as malicious, racial, radical right and highly divisive.

This is a highly readable book and I recommend this to anyone who is interested in an honest discussion about the political affairs in America.

1. How Obama Betrayed America....And No One Is Holding HIm Accountable
2. Radicals: Portraits of a Destructive Passion
3. The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America
4. One-Party Classroom: How Radical Professors at America's Top Colleges Indoctrinate Students and Undermine Our Democracy
5. Why Israel is the Victim AND Why There is No Peace in the Middle East
6. Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future
7. The POLITICS OF BAD FAITH: The Radical Assault on America's Future
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David Horowitz, The Black Book of the American Left: The Collected Conservative Writings of David Horowitz, Vol. 1: My Life and Times (New York: Encounter Books, 2013). Hardback / Kindle

David Horowitz was a Red diaper baby, born in 1939 to and raised in New York City by card-carrying members of the Communist Party USA. In 1956, on the cusp of reaching the age of majority, he, along with his parents, learned of Nikita Khrushchev’s secret speech to the Soviet Union’s Communist Party leadership, which revealed the magnitude of Josef Stalin’s crimes against humanity. It was a dispiriting event for partisans of the Old Left, such as Horowitz’s parents, which had defended Stalin against all critics.

It also sowed the seeds of the New Left, a younger generation of social and political radicals—often Red diaper babies—who dedicated themselves to the advancement of various liberation movements, identity politics, socialism, and participatory democracy. Horowitz was a leader in this movement, organizing the first protest against the Vietnam War at Berkeley in 1963; serving on the staff of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation in London; writing the New Left’s first critique of American foreign policy, The New World Colossus; editing the leading New Left journal Ramparts with his friend and lifelong collaborator Peter Collier; and helping the Huey P. Newton and the Black Panther Party establish the Oakland Community Learning Center in Oakland, California.

In 1974, he hired Betty Van Patter, a friend, as accountant for the Learning Center. She was murdered in late 1974, and through contacts, Horowitz learned that her murderers were Black Panther enforcers. She had been killed because she asked Panther leaders too many questions about irregularities in their finances. For Horowitz (and his friend Collier), this crisis event precipitated a decade of withdrawal from political activism, their departure from the New Left, and their (eventual) enlistment in the ranks of political conservatism.

Their coming-out can be dated to 1985, when they wrote an article titled, “Lefties for Reagan,” for the Washington Post (titled “Goodbye to All That” in this volume). As can be seen from the title, Horowitz and Collier still considered themselves men of the Left, but they voted for Reagan because of his support for the Contras against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua’s civil war. They had seen the devastation wrought by Communist governments throughout the world (including in Vietnam and Cambodia), and men of the Left though they were, they were no longer willing or able to support governments of that ilk. In 1987, they organized a Second Thoughts Conference that brought together former partisans of the Old and New Left to air their doubts about the wisdom of both those movements. Since then, the politics of both Horowitz and Collier have steadily moved rightward, to a “conservative”—perhaps better, “libertarian”—point of view.

Conversions—whether in religion or politics—are often bitter affairs, for both converts and their circles of friends. This is certainly true of Horowitz. His former comrades duly noted his apostasy and demonized his new self accordingly. In response, Horowitz documents in the essays in this volume the willing support of New Left partisans for various movements—the Viet Cong, the Black Panthers, the Sandinistas—whose atrocities they willfully downplayed or simply ignored. Throughout this book, he repeatedly cites a 1969 cover of Ramparts as emblematic, on which an American child holds a Viet Cong flag and the headline declares, “Alienation is when your county is at war and you want the other side to win.” That, Horowitz argues, was the New Left’s credo, consistently though ironically confessed—ironically because the New Left made use of their political freedoms to critique the very institutions that sustained them.

The Black Book of the American Left is a projected 10-volume series of David Horowitz’s conservative writings, that is, his writings after 1985. Volume 1 focuses on his “life and times,” as the subtitle puts it. Its essays—dated from 1985 to the present—are largely autobiographical, apologetical, critical, and score settling. Horowitz is sharply critical of contemporary Leftists who downplay or paper over the radicalism, anti-Americanism, and support for violent liberation movements that were intrinsic features of much of the New Left in its time. Given the New Left’s “march through the institutions,” its prominence in academia and politics, and its recrudescence in the contemporary antiwar and Occupy movements, Horowitz’s writings serve as both a memory and a warning: Those who forget the past are indeed doomed to relive it.
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on November 24, 2013
Smell the ammonia to regain consciousness. Horowitz provides a strong dose of reality to those still living in the fog of the Utopian dream. Clearly defines the results and human suffering from the pursuit of "social justice" agendas. Have to feel sorry for the one star posters who still travel down the well worn path of Marxist tactics. If you can't kill those who disagree with you like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and many others did, don't ever talk about the issues, just assassinate their character. virtual violence alive and well.
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on December 2, 2013
The Black Book of the American Left is a collection of David Horowitz's writings about the American left starting in 1979 when he wrote about the horrors that took place in Vietnam and Cambodia after the US withdrew and the Communists took over. But as David points out in his new book, the left has been consistently wrong throughout the 20th century in the regimes they have supported whether it was Stalin's Russia, Mao's China, Castro's Cuba, the Sandinistas, Hugo Chavez etc etc. Yet there has been no reflecting among progressives about how they could have been so disasterously wrong. No looking back. Ever forward! And now the left is sure they see the future in Rouhani. I don't think so.

But if you have ever wondered why the left thinks the way it does, why the outrage towards the NSA for example and yet no interest or curiousity about who the Russian FSB or the Chinese may be listening in on then the Black Book of the American Left is for you. David grew up in the left but in the 70's grew increasingly disillusioned. He understands and analyzes for us the utopian mindset in which America is both responsible for everything going wrong on the planet and could fix everything if it wanted to. It's a form of denial the world is in and David, a talented and insightful writer, is a breath of fresh air in these exaspersting times.
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on April 16, 2014
The Black Book was well written as it cleared up some misconceptions concerning Horowitz. After being such a radical, he stopped to smell the roses and began to filter out the good, the bad, and the ugly. In other words, he realized he was headed down the wrong path. A lot of good information came out of his writing this book. He revealed a lot of information about the former associations he had with the liberal group. The book was hard to put down as more and more revelations came out of the book. Well done. The reason I gave this a five star ratings is because of the content of the writing and the way it was presented in the book. Well written and easily understood.
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on November 8, 2013
While all of these writings can be found in other volumes, Horowitz has taken the best and placed it in a chronology detailing his transformation from “red diaper baby” to what he has become today. Key moment like the Black Panthers murder of his friend and their employee Betty Van Patter which sparked his transformation from left to right and his subsequent journey are detailed with the best pieces he wrote about theses times in his life. Horowitz is especially devastating when he details the sympathetic rehabilitation some political ideologues receive with past transgressions (including murder) ignored or euphemized in hagiographic media appearances.

If Horowitz comes across as over the top in his characterization of the New Left and the movements it inspired today its only because he understands the pathology that motivates these individuals (and it aint based on compassion) as it once motivated him as well.
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on December 2, 2013
Aside from the self-explanatory title, an adage of my own, "No one knows better than someone who's lived it," can expose what is euphemistically termed as the Progressive movement. The Author, once indurately connected to the leftist radicals of the sixties, communicates his vast knowledge of the destructiveness upon humanity from Communism. His evolvement into Conservatism and information that reveals the corrupt underbelly of government officials with ties to past violent radicals are eye openning. This is an informative read that will offend any leftist courageous enough to be open minded and read it. I recommend this book to anyone who is concerned about the future of America!
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