Sledgehammer and Gnat
The Fear Within
Spies, Commies, and American Democracy on Trial
By Scott Martelle
(New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2011)
[This article appears on pp. 117-118 in the Summer/Fall 2011 issue, Volume 18, Number 3, of The Intelligencer magazine, published by the Association of Foreign Intelligence Officers [AFIO)]
In The Fear Within, Scott Martelle writes about a pre-McCarthy trial, which helped set the tone of the 1950s: Dennis v US. He mines his subject well. The nuggets he turns up command far more than a glimmer’s glance.
In an interview syndicated in The American Conservative from Australia’s National Observer, American author Elena Maria Vidal discusses why we hear about McCarthyism and its excesses but not so much about the Hiss case.
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He heard the screams
Whittaker Chambers: The Spirit of a Counterrevolutionary
By Richard M. Reinsch II
(Indianapolis: ISI Books, 2010)
(Reviewed by Gary Saul Morson)
(Excerpts from “He Heard the Screams,” published in the November 2010 issue of The New Criterion)
Why do otherwise decent people embrace ideologies that entail the killing of millions? What is the appeal that made so many people, especially intellectuals, support Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, and Mao? Whittaker Chambers argued that if we are to combat the most monstrous evil in the history of the world—totalitarianism, as invented in the twentieth century by Lenin—we must understand what draws some people to it and makes others incapable of countering, or even understanding, its appeal.
50 Top-Secret Documents That Changed History
Thomas B. Allen
(New York: Random House for National Geographic, 2008)
(Reviewed from a galley copy provided by the publisher)
To have 50 of the most important top-secret documents in history summarized in one handy reference book is an excellent idea.