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Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey Paperback – April 21, 1998
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Raised to be a committed Marxist by communist intellectual parents, Horowitz was in on the ground floor of Berkeley activism, and through his work as an editor at Ramparts magazine, he emerged as a key player in the New Left. He went on to become an active supporter of the Black Panthers and something of an intimate of their founder, Huey P. Newton. Yet today he is an outspoken political conservative who has supported many right-wing causes (such as the contras in Nicaragua) and been critical of '60s radicalism in general. It would be easy to conclude that Horowitz went from A to Z this way because he's superficial and unstable. Instead, as this moving, intellectual autobiography shows, his second thoughts about leftism emerged gradually as he experienced various aspects of the "Movement." The catalytic episode came when he discovered that the Panthers had murdered a friend of his, but even then Horowitz was slow to convert, primarily because he was heavily enmeshed in what he now views as the quintessential leftist habit of judging politics by its intentions, not its acts. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Horowitz (The Rockefellers) has prominently charted his turn from leftism in Destructive Generation (both books co-written with Peter Collier), but here, he digs deeper to recount his intertwined personal and political odysseys. Because he has witnessed some elemental political battles, and because he tells his often painful story with candor and passion, his lengthy book remains absorbing. His teacher parents were New York City Jewish Communists full of angst and false conviction; young David emerged convinced at least that ideas were important. Married, Horowitz moved to Berkeley for graduate school, the New Left and Ramparts, the hot radical magazine. However, family man Horowitz was made uneasy by figures such as Michael Lerner and Robert Scheer, who rejected community; worse, though Horowitz found Huey Newton's courting of his advice seductive, he fell into "internal free-fall" when he realized that the Panthers were criminal thugs. His Jewish identity?at a time when blacks and the Third World were not allies?helped move Horowitz rightward, as did his disgust with dogmatic leftists. And in 1985, Horowitz and Collier publicly supported Ronald Reagan; the author considers himself a classical liberal. Particularly interesting is his score-settling with authors Todd Gitlin, Tom Hayden and Paul Berman, who, he argues, either sanitize '60s history or misrepresent his own views; now, with the help of foundations, he runs the magazine Heterodoxy and monitors what he views as liberal excess.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Read this book. You’ll learn a lot that you didn’t know before, and you’ll enjoy the ride.
May I add one thing here, in case somebody finds fault with the claim that we need God's help: If you look that the micro-state world, you will see perfect order. Much order can also be seen in the macro-state world. Order does not happen by accident; it happens, always, by design.
It was nice to connect personally with this book, as the author mentioned various places, including schools I attended and people I grew up hearing about. But what really got to me was his wake up moment, in the middle of the novel. It really shows how people get locked in their ideals, that they refuse a holistic picture. It takes serious pain to reevaluate and look at the world without lenses shaped from ideologies of another time and space, or a generation that existed in before the world changed. Overall, the book seemed to contain a consistent theme of critically evaluating the mistakes of the past so that they are not replicated. Moreover, that one's idealistic intentions should not blind them to accepting or tolerating unacceptable behaviors of those in their camp.
This made me really think about what Mr. Horowitz was ultimately driven by. I researched his other books, articles, and some youtube clips of him, and realized that this man is ultimately driven by the desire for world peace. He doesn't argue whether people's ideals are wrong until they are connected to violence. Looking back to his early days in a communist family, it was the violence of the communist party that led him to a new direction of the new left. When the new left became either violent or turned a blind eye to violence, his political view shifted. I don't blame him.
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