222 of 242 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensive history of an important American character,
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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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 4, 2010 10:16:42 AM PDT
I am positively taken in by the use of primary sources to support this book's content. That is usually a bedrock sign of factualness as long as he uses a large sampling of sources from all angles. I'll be buying in my next Amazon order load up.
Keep in mind people, Hillary Clinton is on the record as DIRECTLY stating that SHE IS A PROGRESSIVE. That is not hearsay, not out of context, not fabricated, not unfair propaganda by her political enemies. Your best weapon is to arm yourself with what a progressive really is.
Posted on Dec 13, 2010 11:04:56 AM PST
I work4jeeves says:
Thank you for your thougtfully written review which is very helpful. Also, the writer may be seen in an hour long presentation of this book which is extremely engaging on C-Span Book TV.
Posted on Jul 29, 2012 5:36:17 AM PDT
Billy Bob Sixpack says:
I recently watched a rerun on C-Span3 of Professor Kengor's appearance in 2010 before The Heritage Foundation to discuss this very book. I bought it soon after, but not because of his talk at that body. Dr. Kengor's presentation was so suck-up in tone I barely endured the 75 minutes which included a suck-up Q&A, too.
I have read his book on Christianity's impact on Ronald Reagan's life and politics, and it was excellent read. Great thing with reading his books, you don't have to put up with the audible smarminess.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2012 9:49:56 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2012 12:19:55 PM PST
Despite his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, Kengor has an aversion to publishing his "research" with credible academic presses (the University of Pennsylvania) or respectable mainstream presses, e.g. Harper Collins.
ISI is a right wing publisher with a pronounced conservative agenda and is typically obsessed with Marxism and leftism as "threats." Reminder: the Soviet Union collapsed more than 20 years ago. As for Communism in the US, it was never a major factor in US politics, despite what this book claims. Communism in the US became a non-factor by 1960. Kengor, a reactionary Catholic, who still feels a threat from it, continues to thump his tub as a warning some 50 years later. While this book may serve as a basic compendium of Cold War issues, the author's fervent, anachronistic anti-communist agenda colors his scholarship.
For further discussion, I refer readers to my 1-star review of Kengor's "The Communist."
Posted on Nov 5, 2012 12:38:13 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 15, 2012 12:20:07 PM PST]
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 7:52:21 AM PST
Lee Hart says:
If someone is Christian and conservative, they are more likely to see the soviet influence in our society. It has been within the u.s. for a long time and is the backbone of the 1960s radical movements. Its proponents who dominate the foundations, universities, media and bureaucratic class have been successful in making many if not most Americans "think" a certain way. The hegelian dialect is winning sadly.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 12:17:41 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2012 12:24:06 PM PST
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2013 10:11:53 AM PST
A. Kowski says:
The Progressive elitists such as yourself are as quick to dismiss a Communist threat as you claim the Christian/conservatives to be in grasping on to the idea. It is disingenuous to point out one and not the other. It is also disingenuous to dismiss the very real possibility that the "national context" of which you spoke could have been greatly influenced by Communist thought via the people who got involved in the movements and pushed agendas within them. There is ample evidence that once Communists realized they were not ever going to achieve a Russian-style revolution in America, they turned to a subversive, longer-term plan to achieve their goals. You cannot dismiss such things simply because it is inconvenient to your own agenda (which is apparent by your frequent and pervasive comments here on Amazon to the reviews of books on this topic, as I have found this morning while looking for my next book to read).
Believe it or not, albarino, concern for "growing power of large corporations and their influence in the political arena" is not exclusive to "liberalism and progressivism"... there are staid conservatives and libertarians who are also rightfully concerned about the cronyism between politics and the large corporations in the U.S. today. The difference between the two groups is that the latter also recognizes the threat of the growing power and influence of government - not just in the [not-so] free market, but in the daily lives of the citizenry as well.
Similar to the comment of yours that I responded to under one of the reviews for "And Reality Be Damned... Undoing America: What media didn't tell you about the end of the Cold War and the fall of communism in Europe.", where your ad hominum attack amounted to equating gun ownership to being anti-intellectual, here you are pushing the equally overused and tiresome ad hominum attack that equates non-progressivism with the same. What exactly gets accomplished by this rhetoric? Using such tactics does nothing but perpetuate the split in this country, and its accompanying lack of honest discussion based on something more than soundbites that are fed to us in the media. Those type of remarks make the progressive camp cheer, and the conservative side moan, while the people in the middle generally respond by tuning out completely. You are nothing more than a tool of the partisan politicians, pushing their agenda of Divide and Conquer. The question is, are you paid for it?
The only way to find some semblance of the truth on any given topic that has wandered into the political sphere in this country is to SEEK a wide variety of information, from an even wider variety of sources (including politically-diverse authors and experts, since no one can completely set aside their personal bias in such work) and follow up on their work by digging into their own sources of information and deciding for yourself what passes muster. "Serious" (as used in the last line of albarino's comment above) does NOT equate to "liberal" or "progressive", even if that's what he/she wouldd like to believe, any more than "expert" means that someone is immune or free from bias, manipulation or agenda. What a true shame that ANYONE in this country would dismiss what someone who has spent considerable time and effort on in research and production, simply because they disagree with that person's politics. And how despicable that one group can so easily and thoughtlessly label another group of people as stupid or willfully ignorant for merely disagreeing with them on whatever topics they choose. Shame on you for doing so, albarino, whether you are paid or not.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2013 9:35:59 PM PST
A Kowski: "There is ample evidence that once Communists realized they were not ever going to achieve a Russian-style revolution in America, they turned to a subversive, longer-term plan to achieve their goals. You cannot dismiss such things simply because it is inconvenient to your own agenda."
Ample Evidence? Well, then you need to cite it, which you didn't. As I have said before, there is NO organization in the US that is engaged in a "plan" to turn the US into a country subservient to a 1-world govt, much less a communist state. The only way the extreme right wing can make such a claim, is to identify *Democrats* as participating in this "plan," again, without evidence. But once the far right goes down this slope, its like the snowball that gets bigger and bigger, adding more and more baseless conspiracy theories which are in turn more and more outrageous ---- and dangerous to our public life.
Kengor's "Dupes" is part of this mentality. He insists on living in the Cold War.
My agenda, you say? It is nothing more than getting at the truth of what is going on in the US in this time of national and global transition.
Remember, transitions unhinge people and cause them to be tempted to look for explanations that are personally reassuring, and fulfilling of one's prejudices and misconceptions, rather than face the bigger and real issues in play. There has been an unprecedented growth in the wildest conspiracy theories in the last 4 years. The issue is why certain people believe them. I will never debate anyone who says President Obama was not born in the US because his/her ignorance does not deserve a hearing in the world of fact-based reality; such crazy notions are not the equivalent of the truth.
The far right wing is the main player in behaving stupidly and ignorantly, and the proof is in the pudding. The website Right Wing Watch simply lets its fearful fundamentalist paranoids speak for themselves. Check it out. Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a study which showed a fourfold rise in right wing militia groups since 2008, and a 800%!!!! increase in self-identified "patriot" groups in the same period. This in a time of slow and steady economic recovery, record profits for US corporations, a booming stock market, and illegal immigration reduced to a fraction of what it once was. It's not the reality; its the fear.
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