Truth Against the Grainrnby Arnold Beichmanrn”Zeus gives no aid to liars.”rn—HomerrnNot Without Honor: The Historyrnof American Anticommunismrnhy Richard Gid PowersrnNew York: The Free Press;rn554 pp., $30.00rnRichard Gid Powers’ history is a powerful,rneven brilliant, piece of scholarshiprnwhich documents one of the mostrnbizarre political phenomena of the 20thrncentury.rnWhile Soviet communism, in its 70-rnyear dictatorship, was probably guilty ofrnevery conceivable crime against humanity,rnit was yet able to escape the kind ofrnprincipled censure which befell anticommunism.rnIn fact, it is regarded as tastelessrnin academic circles even today tornsuggest that the United States won thernCold War. An “avant-garde” historianrnwill say that the United States really lostrnthe Cold War. An “objective” historianrnwill say that nobody won the Cold War.rnAn honest historian, like ProfessorrnMichael Howard, the distinguished YalernArnold Beichman is a research fellow atrnthe Hoover Institution and the author ofrnAnti-American Myths: Their Causesrnand Consequences.rnhistorian, in an essay in the Times LiteraryrnSupplement, wrote, “The SovietrnUnion lost.” Even more, said ProfessorrnHoward, “the policy of the West hasrnbeen ultimately vindicated, not only byrnour victory, but by the fact that the Warrnremained Cold; and that we are alive torntell the talc.”rnPresident Roosevelt, a great war leaderrnand a worse than inept peace leader, getsrnhigh marks from mainstream historians.rnHowever, President Harry Truman, whornundertook to resist Soviet designs, isrntreated as a villain for supposedly beginningrnthe Cold War. President RonaldrnReagan, having won a great victoryrnagainst totalitarianism, is being airbrushedrnout of history by unforgiving Establishmentrnhistorians. Professor Powers,rnthough he describes the Iran-Contrarnconspiracy as “one of the most clearlyrnpresidential misdeeds in history,” hasrnrestored Mr. Reagan and his anticommunistrnpolicies to their rightful place inrnhistory.rnTo grasp fully what Professor Powers’rnbook is about, the reader must rememberrnthe power which ideas such as communismrnand revolution had over peoplernof all classes and professions, includingrnnoncommunists. Powers admits thatrn”writing this book radically altered myrnview of American anticommunism. I beganrnwith the idea that anticommunismrndisplayed America at its worst but I camernto see in anticommunism America at itsrnbest.” Professor Powers is acutely awarernof what has been going on in Americanrnhistoriography, a field now bossed byrnfeminists, deconstructors, multiculturalists,rnpseudopopulists, Afrocentrists, andrnMarxists, crypto and not so crypto. Arnmonumental revisionist sweep of therncontemporary past is at work: Americanrncommunists are being classified as littlernworse than misguided idealists, thusrnworthy of our indulgent admiration; anticommunismrnremains the villain.rnIn a recent essay, “Communist Historyrnas Soap Opera,” in the New York Reviewrnof Books, historian Theodore Draperrnargues that “communism, as all thernworld knows, with the exception of arncadre of American professors, disgracedrnthe largely democratic tradition ofrnsocialism and strangled democracyrnwherever it came to power.” He thenrnasks: “What explains this perversion ofrnsocialism and democracy?” This is Mr.rnDraper’s answer: “It is clearly an attemptrnto rehabilitate communism by making itrnpart of the larger family of socialism andrndemocracy. No one would think of doingrnthis favor for fascism, but commu-rnJULY 1996/29rnrnrn