EDITORrnThomas FlemingrnMANAGING EDITORrnTheodore PappasrnSENIOR EDITOR, BOOKSrnChilton Williamson, ]r,rnASSISTANT EDITORrnMichael WashburnrnART DIRECTORrnAnna Mycek-WodeckirnCONTRIBUTING EDITORSrnHarold O.]. Brown, Katherine Dalton,rnSamuel Francis, George Garrett,rnPaul Gottfried, ].0. Tate,rnClyde WilsonrnCORRESPONDING EDITORSrnBill Kauffman, William Mills,rn]acob Neusner, Momcilo SelicrnEDITORIAL SECRETARYrnLeann DobbsrnPUBLISHERrnAllan C. CarlsonrnPUBLICATION DIRECTORrnGuy C. ReffettrnPRODUCTION SECRETARYrnAnita CandyrnCIRCULATION MANAGERrnCindy LinkrnA publication of The Rockford Institute.rnEditorial and Advertising Offices:rn934 North Mam Street, Rockford, IL 61103.rnEditorial Phone: (815)964-5054.rnAdvertising Phone: (813)964-5813.rnSubscription Department: P.O. Box 800,rnMount Morris, IL 61054. Call 1-800-877-5459.rnU.S.A. Newsstand Distribution bv Eastern NewsrnDistributors, Inc., One Media Way, 12406 Rt. 250rnMilan, Ohio 44848-9705rnCopyright © 1997 by The Rockford Institute.rnAll rights reserved.rnChronicles (ISSN 0887-5731) is publishedrnmonthU’ for $39.00 (foreign subscriphons add $12rnfor surface delivery, $48 for I’Kir Mail) per year bvrnThe Rockford Institute, 934 North Main Street’,rnRockford, IL 61103-7061. Preferred penodicalrnpostage paid at Rockford, IL and additional mailingrnoffices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes tornChronicles, P.O. Box 800, Mount Morris, IL 61054.rnThe views expressed in Chronicles are thernauthors’ alone and do not necessarily reflectrnthe views of The Rockford Institute or of itsrndirectors. Unsolicited manuscripts cannot bernreturned unless accompanied by a self-addressedrnstamped envelope.rnChroniclesrnVbl.2I. No.*? SepfcmberlW?rnI’rintccl in the I fmtfd States of AmericarnPOLEMICS & EXCHANGESrnOn David HorowitzrnIt’s a pity that Chronicles chose a shallowrnand vindictive reviewer like Justin Raimondorn(“David Horowitz and the Ex-rnCommunist Confessional,” June) to vetrnRadical Son for the Chronicles audience.rnJustin’s animus toward me (based on arnpublic clash we had some years ago) isrntransparent enough, but his reading ofrnmy text is so bizarre that the Chroniclesrnaudience is offered little clue as to therncontents of my book, let alone insight intornits place in the literature of anticommunistrnmemoirs, which is the pretensernunder which his review is written.rnTo set me up for invidious comparison,rnRaimondo praises the ex-communistrnBenjamin Gitlow for writing “nary arnword of criticism” of his parents, nor attributingrnany aspect of his career torn”parental influence.” (Raimondo makesrnno attempt to justify why this should bernpraiseworthy in any writer of autobiography.)rnThen Raimondo turns to my text:rn”Contrast this with the victimologicalrnwhining of Horowitz”:rnWhat was my own choice? In thernbeginning I hardly had one. I understoodrneariy that my parents’ politicalrnreligion was really the centerrnof their moral life. This meantrnthat the condition of their parentalrnlove was that I embrace their politicalrnfaith.rnThe passage in which this offendingrncomment occurs actually forms the preludernto my entrance into a communistrunrnnursery school at age 18 months.rnBut this does not phase Raimondo; “Itrnwould never have occurred to Gitlow tornblame his father and mother for his politicalrnmistakes, but the Oprahization ofrnAmerican culture makes it possible forrnHorowitz to demonize his parents.”rnReaders of Radical Son will know thatrnI do nothing of the kind. Other reviewersrnhave described my account of my relationshiprnwith my father, for example, asrn”poignant” and “poetic.” Raimondo isrnso determined to demonize me that hernwinds up defending the communistrncommunity I grew up in. Thus, at anotherrnpoint in the text I observe that thernpeople in this community were “permanentrnconspirators in a revolutionary drama”rnwho posed as “progressives” to disarmrnthe unsuspecting public while “theirrnreal politics were conducted far fromrnview.” Raimondo offers this as a furtherrnexample of unfair attacks on my parents.rnDefending them, he writes: “Horowitzrndoes not deny that people such as hisrnparents were operating under the constantrnsurveillance of government agencies,rnincluding the FBI and local policerndepartments, a n d . . . yet he writes, ‘whatrnelse could they have expected?’ After all,rnthey ‘wanted to overthrow existing institutions.’rnIn other words, they deservedrnit.” Well, yes.rnRaimondo’s defense, of course, is thernCommunist Party’s own explanation ofrnits deceptions and Fifth Amendment demurralsrn—the FBI and the governmentrnred-baiters made us do it. In otherrnwords, if we (communists) refuse to answerrnhonestly as to what our real politicsrnare, it is because we will be persecuted forrnour ideas. Au contraire, Justin. It was thernconspiratorial activities of the communistrnmovement that made them dishonestrnand made it necessary for the FBI tornsurveil them.rnBecause Raimondo’s agenda is to attackrnme personally rather than to reviewrnmy book, he manages to get everythingrnwrong, even its central drama, which isrnmy involvement with the Black Panthers.rn”Typically, when he discovers that hisrnBlack Panther heroes are murderers andrnthugs, he blames other people”:rnAnger welled inside me. Whyrnhadn’t Joel said anything before?rnWhy hadn’t Charles? Or Troy?rnWhy hadn’t they warned me?rnThe answer was clear: they did notrnwant to be accused of betrayingrnthe Left.rnReaders of Radical Son will know that Irnam not exculpating myself here but onlyrnexplaining why all leftists, myself included,rnwere so ready to cover up the crimesrnof the left. On the page before this passagernI wrote: “[My parents’] politicalrnideals had embarrassed them, makingrnthem complicit in others’ crimes. I hadrnresolved that I would not repeat theirrnmistake. Now I was guilty myself.” Getrnit, Justin? Guilty myself.rnThere is not a substantive statement Irnhave made that Raimondo doesn’t ques-rn4/CHRONICLESrnrnrn