In 1976, when Hilton Kramer wrote what his New York Times obituary writer called his most provocative article, “The Blacklist and the Cold War,” I still considered myself a man of the political Left. I was therefore rather furious when I read that essay—so furious that I wrote a lengthy reply to Hilton, co-signed with a friend, which, when I read it now, causes me to blanch with embarrassment. Hilton responded by writing that I could not “face the worst about Stalinism,” nor could I acknowledge “a simple fact: without Stalinism there would have been no McCarthyism and no blacklist.”

Less than ten years later, I came to realize just how right Hilton Kramer was. By then, I was writing my own articles reevaluating the “Cold War revisionism” of left-wing scholars I had once found profound but had come to see as very seriously flawed. Therefore, when Peter Collier and David Horowitz...


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