The more they throw at Diana and her book, ‘American Betrayal‘, the more she reveals their gross lack of knowledge on a subject they’ve based their scholarly careers on knowing and writing about. Stunning.
”Black writes: “Alger Hiss had no influence, ceased his incompetent efforts at espionage in the mid Thirties, and did not exchange a word with Roosevelt at Yalta; his only contribution was to recommend, unsuccessfully, that the USSR not have three votes in the United Nations general assembly.”
And thus we come not full circle, but 180 degrees. National Review, the magazine founded by William F. Buckley, whose moral hero was Whittaker Chambers, is now whitewashing Soviet military-intelligence agent Alger Hiss. Additionally, this magazine, whose founding editors were in part drawn together by their philosophical and political opposition to Roosevelt, may now claim to be the keeper of FDR’s flame.
It’s all rather strange — but what isn’t in this “debate”?”
Diana West Responds to Conrad Black
Why is NRO trashing American Betrayal, dismissing Vladimir Bukovsky, whitewashing Alger Hiss, and glorifying FDR?
Conrad Black has now published three attacks at National Review Online against my book American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character, but I would bet the $4.1 million Black has to pay the U.S. government in fines related to his fraud conviction that he hasn’t read the book.
In his most recent attack — this time against a positive review of American Betrayal by famed Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky and Pavel Stroilov at Breitbart News — Black mocks Bukovsky for, in Black’s telling, imagining that FDR believed that the capitalist and Communist systems were on a path of “convergence.”
“Convergence theory” shows up in more than half a dozen listings in American Betrayal’s index. Nonetheless, Black writes:
Where it [the review] all starts to go horribly wrong is in the sudden metamorphosis of Duranty into Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who, Bukovsky has learned, presumably from whatever unimaginable emanations possessed him in his decades of brave resistance to Communism and in his apparently incomplete convalescence since, sought a “convergence” of Stalinist socialism with American constitutional government.” (Italics added.)
Before I establish the well-founded points of FDR’s oft-stated belief in “convergence,” I will note for readers that this same exercise — demonstrating the baselessness of an attack on my book (or, in this case, on a positive review of my book) — is, to date, the main mechanism of “debate” about American Betrayal. (See The Rebuttal: Defending American Betrayal from the Book-Burners for the gruesome details.) Distortion, fabrication, sloppiness — these are the hallmarks of “discussion.” While I realize American Betrayal’s findings are shocking (they were to me as I uncovered them), I still rather expected the book to be debated civilly, and not continually mauled.
I will mention for readers who have only seen the claw marks that Bukovsky and Stroilov, both scholars of Soviet subversion, have called American Betrayal “huge and brilliant.” I will also add — because my detractors never do — that M. Stanton Evans, the celebrated conservative author and foremost expert on the McCarthy era, has called American Betrayal a “long-needed answer to court histories that obscure key facts about our backstage war with Moscow.” Evans has himself written an article about the campaign against my book at CNSNews.com titled “In Defense of Diana West.”
No comment from the commentariat at the larger outlets over this heated clash, however, which is noteworthy in itself. A battle royale is joined over a book with “names” on both sides — not your everyday occurrence — and none of the capital-p pundits says (dares say?) a word about it, not even to write a book review.
But if the reasons for the silence remain somewhat murky, the point about FDR subscribing to the theory that the U.S. and Soviet systems were moving toward each other is clear and traceable to many sources — supporters, administration officials, and political opponents alike. To Cardinal Spellman, senior State Department official Sumner Welles, House Un-American Activities Committee chairman Representative Martin Dies, among others, FDR spoke about convergence — even, as we find in their writings about these discussions, using the same terminology.