What did I do on my summer vacation?
I stayed home. The family went to the country this week but not me. I stayed behind to deal with a white-hot controversy.
Thus, I am now engaged in the painstaking job of rebutting an explosion of falsehoods and distortions about me and my new book, "American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character." These attacks began appearing on the Internet last week at several neoconservative websites: first and mainly Frontpage Magazine (FPM), Pajamas Media and The American Thinker.
Close to 10 pieces have appeared (more promised), all of them emanations of a 7,900-word book review at FPM that reviewer Ronald Radosh described as a "take-down" in one of his own three follow-up pieces. Two writers who followed suit admitted in print that they hadn't read the book.
It is important to note that this lengthy "take-down" comes after an earlier, positive review of "American Betrayal" appeared at FPM. Controversial books spark different reactions, of course, but instead of leaving the original, positive review posted and commissioning a new review from a different perspective, FPM editor David Horowitz -- noted free speech advocate -- pulled the positive review off the website.
The recent spate of attacks advance one notion in particular. They impugn my credibility as a writer based on allegations (which I am currently rebutting) against my accuracy, integrity and even sanity. Clearly, they want to kill this book. Thus, they depict me as inaccurate and dishonest. Fortunately, I have a nearly 30-year reputation as a journalist, columnist and published author to stand on as I mount what is, in fact, a defense of my livelihood.
As some readers know, I published "American Betrayal" earlier this summer with endorsements from noted historians Amity Shlaes and M. Stanton Evans. My book's publisher is St. Martin's Press, which also published my first book, "The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization."
Since my research took me to places in our history that shocked me, I knew the new book would be a controversial. Its thesis challenges consensus and cherished mythology about our 20th-century past by a rather novel mechanism. The book projects the dirty backstory of the Soviet-directed intelligence war against the U.S. -- waged by confirmed Soviet agents and agents of influence inside the U.S. policymaking chain from the 1930s onward -- onto center stage and into our familiar pageant of history.
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