Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey

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9780684840055: Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey
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Originally a radical socialist, the current driving force behind the rise of the Hollywood right recounts how he moved from one set of political convictions to another over the course of thirty years, and challenges readers to consider how they came by their own convictions.

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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.

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Many intellectuals have made the voyage from Left to Right in recent decades. But few have come from as deep inside the hard Left as Horowitz, and none has retained more of the 60's style. Horowitz, in fact, prides himself on his determination to continue speaking "in the voice of the New Left--outraged, aggressive, morally certain."

It is hard to think of anyone who has turned on his own past with more fury than David Horowitz. Radical Son, his memoir, charts a trek from one political commitment to something approaching its opposite, and the events that propelled him on his way.

How, ultimately, is David Horowitz's transformation to be explained? After all, many 1960's radicals dwelled in the same tawdry cesspool, witnessed the same murders or lesser acts of crime and duplicity, yet continued to cling fervently to the cause.

One explanation may be generational. Horowitz was approaching the seasoned age of thirty when he entered California radicalism in the late 1960's, and was thus slightly older than his fellows. His deviation, then, may be seen as that of a man who had come to place some value on middle-class existence.

A second possibility, one that runs somewhat counter to the first, is that the very depth and intensity of Horowitz's radicalism led inevitably to a spasm of self-correction. The writer Paul Berman once remarked with some asperity that "Horowitz is in the American vein. He doesn't correct; he converts."

A third interpretation might also be adduced. As the gripping pages of Radical Son make clear, Horowitz possesses a fearless capacity for self-examination--hardly a noted virtue of the radical Left. In the end, it is this capacity which may have rescued him from an association with murderers. It certainly enabled him to reinvent himself, and to forge a new career as the kind of person his parents had no doubt warned him against. -- Commentary Magazine, June 1997, Christopher Caldwell

[H]is portrait of the 60s and its legacy is sure to make his book controversial.... With Radical Son, Mr. Horowitz has written a courageous book, full of self-revelation with a willingness to expose his own frailties in the most sensitive areas of sex and family. Still he is nothing if not contentious, and some of his contentions will rub readers the wrong way. -- The New York Times Book Review, Richard Gid Powers

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9780684827933: Radical Son: A Journey Through Our Times from Left to Right

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 1998. Paperback. Condition: New. Touchstone ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In a narrative that possesses both remarkable political importance and extraordinary literary power, David Horowitz tells the story of his startling political odyssey from Sixties radical to Nineties conservative. A political document of our times, Radical Son traces three generations of one American family s infatuation with the radical left from the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 to the collapse of the Marxist empire six decades later. David Horowitz was one of the founders of the New Left and an editor of Ramparts, the magazine that set the intellectual and revolutionary tone for the movement. From his vantage point at the center of the action, he populates Radical Son with vivid portraits of people who made the radical decade, while unmaking America at the same time. We are introduced to an aged Bertrand Russell, the world-famous philosopher and godson of John Stuart Mill, who in his nineties became America s scourge, organizing a War Crimes Tribunal over the war in Vietnam. There is Tom Hayden, the radical Everyman who promoted guerrilla warfare in America s cities in the Sixties, married film legend Jane Fonda, and became a Democratic state senator when his revolutions failed. We meet Huey Newton, a street hustler and murderer who founded a black militia that became the Sixties most resonant symbol of black power and black militance. Horowitz s encounter with Newton and his Black Panthers, the most celebrated radical group of the Sixties, becomes the focal point of the story when a brutal murder committed by the Panthers changes his life forever, prompting the profound second thoughts that eventually led him to become an intellectual leader of conservatism and its most prominentactivist in Hollywood. Seller Inventory # AAC9780684840055

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 1998. Paperback. Condition: New. Touchstone ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In a narrative that possesses both remarkable political importance and extraordinary literary power, David Horowitz tells the story of his startling political odyssey from Sixties radical to Nineties conservative. A political document of our times, Radical Son traces three generations of one American family s infatuation with the radical left from the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 to the collapse of the Marxist empire six decades later. David Horowitz was one of the founders of the New Left and an editor of Ramparts, the magazine that set the intellectual and revolutionary tone for the movement. From his vantage point at the center of the action, he populates Radical Son with vivid portraits of people who made the radical decade, while unmaking America at the same time. We are introduced to an aged Bertrand Russell, the world-famous philosopher and godson of John Stuart Mill, who in his nineties became America s scourge, organizing a War Crimes Tribunal over the war in Vietnam. There is Tom Hayden, the radical Everyman who promoted guerrilla warfare in America s cities in the Sixties, married film legend Jane Fonda, and became a Democratic state senator when his revolutions failed. We meet Huey Newton, a street hustler and murderer who founded a black militia that became the Sixties most resonant symbol of black power and black militance. Horowitz s encounter with Newton and his Black Panthers, the most celebrated radical group of the Sixties, becomes the focal point of the story when a brutal murder committed by the Panthers changes his life forever, prompting the profound second thoughts that eventually led him to become an intellectual leader of conservatism and its most prominentactivist in Hollywood. Seller Inventory # AAC9780684840055

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