Ron Radosh should find a corner somewhere and sit in it.
As I rebut exhaustively the charges against me and American Betrayal contained in Ronald Radosh’s self-decribed “take-down,” here is M. Stanton Evans’ evisceration of the Radosh’s very similar “take-down” of Evans’ trail-blazing, exceptional book, Blacklisted by HIstory.
THE BOOK ON McCARTHY
Having been around the block a time or two, I guess nothing should surprise me, but I have to admit I was profoundly shocked by Ronald Radosh’s onslaught against my work — and honor — in what professed to be a review of my new book about Senator Joe McCarthy (“The Enemy Within,” Dec. 17).
Had this Radosh effusion appeared in The New Republic or Washington Post — where it would have been more fitting — I probably wouldn’t have bothered to reply. As it appeared instead in the once-beloved pages of National Review, with which I have been connected since its inception, I can hardly let these poisonous charges against my writing, and my character, go unanswered.
Though there may be some people qualified by their expertise to read me a condescending lecture in the matter of Joe McCarthy, Ronald Radosh is not among them. As shown throughout his curious essay, his lack of knowledge is extensive, bizarrely so in certain cases, and made the worse by the strange inventions with which the discourse is salted. How someone who knows so little about a topic can set up shop as an Olympian arbiter of it is quite a puzzle.
Consider in this respect Radosh’s handling of what was arguably the most famous episode in the whole McCarthy saga — the June 1954 confrontation in the Army–McCarthy hearings between McCarthy and Army counsel Joseph Welch. In discussing my treatment of this encounter, Radosh concedes the point that I am making — that Welch’s “have you no decency” plaint was an act — but then adds the truly incredible statement:
“But the hearing’s larger question was about the promotion of Army dentist Irving Peress to a higher rank — and Evans’s claims of the supposed dangers
surrounding the dentist’s promotion do not hold up.”
This comment is so astounding I re-read it a couple of times to make sure I wasn’t missing something, but there it is: The larger question of the Welch–McCarthy confrontation was the Peress case. But as everyone knows who knows anything about the matter, this is absurdly false. The colloquy in question and the hearing of which it was a part had nothing to do with the Peress case, but were focused on the issue of Fort Monmouth — an entirely separate topic. Welch was baiting McCarthy staffer Roy Cohn about an intelligence report relating to alleged subversion at Monmouth, and why Cohn hadn’t delivered this by the fastest possible method to the Secretary of the Army. It was in the course of this harangue that McCarthy brought up the matter of Welch aide Frederick Fisher and his former membership in the National Lawyers Guild, prompting Welch’s famous challenge.
None of this had the slightest connection to Peress, who wasn’t involved with Monmouth, had been stationed elsewhere, and was the subject of other, separate proceedings. Different person, different Army base, different hearings. From all of which it’s apparent that Ronald Radosh is clueless on the topic — doesn’t know the first thing about it and apparently can’t be troubled to find out, which he might easily have done by reading the relevant sets of hearings. This bespeaks not only ignorance of the issues but a reckless indifference to the claims of fact that is remarkable in any context — the more so considering his lofty pose as an authority on McCarthyana.