Ronald Radosh: History as Ideology: Further Thoughts on "American Betrayal"

tags: books, Ron Radosh, Diana West, American Betrayal, historical controversies



Ronald Radosh is an Adjunct Fellow at the Hudson Institute and a columnist for PJ Media. He is author or co-author of over fifteen books, including The Rosenberg File, A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel, and Spain Betrayed: The Soviet Union in the Spanish Civil War.

Writing on this website, Bernie Reeves attempts an evaluation of both Diana West's book and my own critique of it. Their method, particularly that engaged in by Diana West, is one that my colleagues John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr write is that of intellectual "'true believers,' ideological zealots who are mentally incapable of accepting or processing information that undermines their historical worldview... it is as if they wear special glasses that can only see what conforms to their worldview. Information that contradicts their fiercely held view is denied, explained-away, or, most often, simply ignored."

Reeves argues that while he respects and knows my work and that of Haynes and Klehr, I was "nitpicking" her facts, by pointing to "contradictory facts." Reeves writes that we are all "excellent researchers and writers," yet somehow we "are all restricted by their profession not to dramatize their findings," connect the dots, and "come to conclusions." This is more than ridiculous. If you read any of the scores of articles I have written in the past few years about Howard Zinn, Oliver Stone, or the Rosenbergs, that becomes more than clear. I have never shied away from clearly stating the implication and meaning of the evidence I have uncovered. What Reeves actually means is that I do not endorse West's analysis, methodology, or findings -- which is something other than what he accuses me and Klehr and Haynes of.

Next, Reeves makes statements that are more than comical. He writes, for example, that although I had introduced evidence that Truman did not know about Venona, West says it is bogus and even if it was not, Truman "could have demanded that code breakers work faster and harder." Really? Does Reeves even know how difficult a job these skilled people had, and how hard they actually worked around the clock to break the Soviet codes?...




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