233 of 256 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensive history of an important American character
, October 2, 2010
This review is from: Dupes: How America's Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century (Hardcover)
Paul Kengor, an established historian and tireless researcher, has produced an amazing historical tale of one of America's most important actors in the last century: the dupe. Though the title may sound inflamatory, the research is rock-solid and of the highest academic caliber. Both sides of the political ailse can pick up this book learn an incredible amount of American history.
Communism did not know any national boundaries in the 20th century; nor does radical Islamic ideology in the 21st. As such, Dr. Kengor recognizes the overarching effect of "the dupe" across party lines in America. There was not one cookie-cutter type of dupe as Kengor relates in the book. There were those who were duped for ideological reasons, political reasons, and even those who recognized they were being used - yet persisted in their actions. Kengor's point is that people need to seriously re-examine history in light of the revelations in this book about how some of the most important people in American history have acted towards America's enemies and how, in return, America's enemies have used them.
I can't emphasize how impressed I was when I looked at the endnotes of this book. Students of history will appreciate the fact that nearly all of the sources used in this book are primary! A rare find for an academic book these days! The author gives everyone, those who will agree and disagree with him, the chance to look at publicly available sources and draw their own conclusions. As a result, I could hardly disagree with any of his conclusions. I have studied this period of history extensively and was genuinely shocked by some of the revelations in this book (the ones about Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy, and America's early Progressives come immediately to mind).
It is a sad commentary on the state of the American education system when facts like these are not taught, not out of some grand-conspiracy, but out of simple ignorance. Many people do not know of the Katyn Forest Massacre, the Soviet invasion of Poland in WWII, the effects of Soviet spies, etc. Thankfully though, we now have this book to shed some much needed light on this corner of American history that has long been ignored and repressed: The Dupe.
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