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Radical Voyages

"Our ideas had consequences," observes Ronald Radosh, distinguished historian of the American left, echoing the quite un-radical Richard Weaver. The party of which Radosh was a member for most of his life conventionally is portrayed as an idealistic band in pursuit of a more humane America. Yes, its apologists admit, the left has erred from time to time—not from any intrinsic malice, but in the flawed execution of a noble creed. If, however, the author of Commies proves nothing else, he demonstrates that the left has always been a systematically illiberal campaign of subversion, operating in concert with the world's most rogue regimes.

Radosh's radical bona fides are impeccable. Of leftist parentage and related to the anarchist Jacob Abrams (of Abrams v. United States notoriety), Radosh was reared as a Red Diaper Baby in the de facto Soviet colony of New York City. At one point, he lived in the same building as "the notorious Soviet atom-bomb spy" Ted Hall. "My block. West 172nd Street and Fort Washington Avenue," he writes, "was also a stronghold of numerous other Communists." Radosh experienced his indoctrination in the radical agenda in both recreational and pedagogical settings. At Camp Woodland in Phoenicia, New York, where he sang Maoist anthems, a pair of Creek communists recruited him for the Labor Youth League (a branch of the...

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