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Red Hunting in the Promised Land

Kovel Joel

9 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0465003648 / ISBN 13: 9780465003648
Published by Basic Books, New York, 1994
New Condition: New Hardcover
From PORT HOLE BOOKS and PUBLISHING (Florence, OR, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Red Hunting in the Promised Land

Publisher: Basic Books, New York

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Tracing the evolution of anti-communism from the Bolshevik Revolution to the collapse of communism in recent years, this book challenges the basic understanding of the nature of anti-communism. It draws connections between anti-communism as an internal American control mechanism, and anti-communism as an instrument of foreign policy, relating these aspects in turn to a study of psychology, national mythology and culture. It further relates anti-communism to deep-rooted structures in Western Christianity, connecting, for example, the book of Revelation to nuclear arms policy; the inquisitions in Europe to McCarthyism; and archaic mythologies of the hunt to J. Edgar Hoover's anti-communist crusade.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A flawed and sometimes fantastic effort to link American anti- Communism to the ``demons of the American soul,'' by Marxist psychiatrist Kovel (Social Studies/Bard; The Age of Desire, 1981, etc.). Here, in a work dedicated to Alger Hiss, Kovel contends that ``millions of innocents lie dead, whole societies have been laid waste...and the political culture of the United States has been frozen in a retrograde position--all for the sake of overcoming Communism.'' Having described the Soviet Union as ``a colossal failure'' and the Stalinist era as ``a period of criminality on a scale scarcely ever seen in human history,'' the author proceeds to deal with every American reaction to Soviet policy as a kind of psychiatric disorder. Kovel analyzes George Kennan's ``Communism- hating'' as a ``burning desire to be different,'' without considering that the horrors Kennan was exposed to while at the Moscow embassy may have influenced his conclusions about Stalin's expansionist policies. The prime villain here is J. Edgar Hoover, who--on the basis of one dubious source--is accused of having ``a secret life of sexual license, including cross-dressing and engaging in homosexual orgies.'' Kovel compares the activities of Joseph McCarthy to ``the fiendish inquisition set up by Stalin in the 1930's, when the flower of Bolshevism was cut down, along with the Soviet military general staff and millions of innocent victims,'' even though McCarthy's persecutions led only to a condemnable but far less grievous 2,700 civilian dismissals and 12,500 resignations. The author compares Americans in ``late capitalist society'' to the pod people in The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and contends that we're heading for a ``dispersed, inconsistent, even incoherent, media-driven post-Communist anticommunism.'' He concludes by noting that there's nothing to be ashamed of even in ``the dead-end variety of socialism that went under the name of Soviet Communism.'' This is Hamlet not only without the prince, but without the king as well: a singularly absurd study. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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