stake, proved such bad prophets, whyrnthen blame a bunch of academics,rnarmed with nothing more dangerousrnthan their software, for their failure tornpredict the overnight collapse of the SovietrnUnion?rnThe real issue, of course, is not thernfailure of these scholars to predict therncourse of Soviet history. It is rather, saysrnWalter Laqueur, that they—mainstreamrnSovietologists, like Beatrice and SidneyrnWebb in England and Jerry Hough, ArchrnGetty, Seweryn Bialer, and many othersrnin the United States—bent historicalrntruth, ignored the meaning of Stalinism,rnand idealized a monstrous, inhumanrndespotism. For them, willing participantsrnof “groupthink,” collectivizationrnwas a success, the Great Terror justifiablernand, therefore, a minor blip on the roadrnto paradise. A critical attitude towardrnStalinism and its concentration camprnuniverse was regarded as Cold War propagandarnthat need not be refuted.rnThese Sovietologists echoed Molotov,rnwho said in his memoirs, “Our mistakes,rnincluding the crude mistakes, were justified.”rnThese academics structured whatrnRobert Conquest has called “a professionalrninvestment in fallacy” as part ofrnthe “Stalinophile tradition.”rnTruly, it was the era of furor Sovieticusrnwhen highly placed academics told fictionsrnwhich, as instant experts, they soldrnon television and op-ed pages; e.g., thernSoviet Union had become a pluralist society,rna democracy of a different type,rnwith a crude but sturdy parliamentaryrnsystem. Those scholars who disagreedrnwith such outrageous “scholarship” didrnnot, with a few exceptions, last long inrnacademia; they were rarely hired, andrneven more rarely were they grantedrntenure. When Sovietologists utteredrntheir soothing assurances that the SovietrnUnion was nothing to worry about, thatrnthe Cold War, instigated by PresidentrnTruman, was an immoral McGarthyiternexploitation of democratic opinion byrnthe American military-industrial complex,rnthey helped strengthen a dictatorshiprnas foul as Hitler’s.rnTake Professor Hough, an ornamentrnof the Brookings Institution. In the latern70’s, he was asked by Harvard’s Russianrncenter to update the famed and widelyrnTo order these books, (24hrs, 365 days)rnplease call (800) 962-6651 (Ext. 5200)rnused textbook written by the late ProfessorrnMerle Fainsod, How Russia is Ruled.rnWhen the revision appeared in 1979, therntitle had become How the Soviet Union isrnGoverned, a nuanced shift of emphasis.rnIn the index of the original book, ProfessorrnFainsod had included some 60 citationsrnrelating to forced labor camps; inrnHough’s “revised” version, there werernnone. And there were worse changes.rnHad such an act of intellectual corruptionrnbeen committed by someone on thernright, the academy would have anathematizedrnits perpetrator. But Houghrnleads a charmed life.rnLaqueur describes an appearance byrnHough before a congressional committee,rnduring which Hough told the committeernmembers that the Soviet Unionrnwas solving its political problems—rnwhich had anyway been grossly exaggeratedrn—with amazing speed, and thatrnmodern countries did not break up.rnGorbachev, he said, was secure. A fewrnweeks later there was no Soviet Union,rnand Gorbachev was gone. (Columbia’srnProfessor Bialer predicted in 1983 thatrn”the Soviet Union may face a leadershiprncrisis and an economic crisis, but it doesrnnot now and in all probability will not inrnthe next decade face a systemic crisisrnthat endangers its existence.”) More outrageousrnstill was the downplaying byrnHough, Getty, and other mainstreamrnSovietologists of the extent of the purgesrnand mass killings under Stalin. (Had anyrnprofessor at any university dared to minimizernthe Holocaust or apartheid inrnSouth Africa before Mandela’s presidency,rnor to offer kind words for GeneralissimornFranco, how long would he havernlasted at his job?) Whitewashing thernGreat Terror was no ordinary academicrnachievement. Professors like Getty andrnHough ignored the evidence and documentationrnof Solzhenitsyn, Mandelstam.rnBabel, Tsvetayeva, Orlov, Krivitskyrn—the list is endless—and thus endedrnup as apologists for the Soviet regime.rnYet, in 1987, Nikolai Shemelev, a memberrnof the Soviet parliament and a seniorrnstaff member of the prestigious Instituternof USA and Canada, reported that atrnleast 17 million Soviet citizens had beenrnsent to labor camps as political prisonersrnbetween 1937 and Stalin’s death inrn1953. And another five million peasantsrnduring the late 1920’s and early 30’s wererndeported thousands of miles from theirrnhomes to wastelands during the forcedrncollectivization of Soviet agriculture.rnLaqueur has done a magnificent jobrnin documenting a scandal in the Americanrnsocial sciences, and in analyzing thernreasons for that scandal. But the Houghsrnand Gettys are impenitent. They willrnnot utter even a word of apology to thatrnsmall handful of Sovietologists who werernright; Laqueur, Conquest, Brzezinski,rnMalia. But Hough, Getty, and companyrncannot wipe away what they said: theyrncannot rewrite their past as scholars.rnThe collapse of communist theory andrnpower, a cataclysmic event which contradictedrnvirtually everything they had published,rnhas been insufficient to impelrnthem “to express regret for their failurernto speak up for truth in the past,” tornquote Wilcomb E. Washburn, an investigatorrninto the intellectual derelictionsrnof highly regarded historians.rnWhy should one care about the dishonestyrnof quasi-scholars? Because, asrnLionel Trilling has written, “This is therngreat vice of academicism, that it is concernedrnwith ideas rather than with thinkingrnand nowadays the errors of academicismrndo not stay in the academy; theyrnmake their way into the worid and whatrnbegins as a failure of perception amongrnintellectual specialists finds its fulfillmentrnin policy and action.”rnArnold Beichman, a research fellow at thernHoover Institution, is the author of Anti-rnAmerican Myths: Their Causes andrnConsequences.rnStainless Steelrnbyf.O. TaternThe Hogan MystiquernEdited by Ian Martin DavisrnGreenwich: The American Golfer;rn132 pp., $50.00rnThis book seems to be a coffee-tablernjob for golfers, and no doubt therernare many who will enjoy it that way.rnSome may even fancy that they will learnrnsomething about golf from it, but I thinkrnthat something will be limited. No, thisrnopenly closed book reveals nothing thatrnwas not for years hidden in plain sight; itrntells nothing that was not known and isrnnot told and retold. Yet it is immenselyrnvaluable for living up to its title withrn34/CHRONICLESrnrnrn