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ISBN:0684824272
Author: Richard Gid Powers
ISBN13: 978-0684824277
Title: Not Without Honor: The History of American Anticommunism
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Language: English
Category: Politics and Government
Publisher: Free Press; 1st edition (January 15, 1996)
Pages: 576

Not Without Honor: The History of American Anticommunism by Richard Gid Powers



Richard Gid Powers' book on the history of anticommunism offers valuable insights about the problems that plagued the movement. Because of the misdeeds of Herbert Hoover, anticommunism came across as a movement indifferent to civil liberties. Because of the misdeeds of the counter subversive wing of the movement, anticommunism came across as a bunch of crazy kooks who saw a spy wherever they looked, something out of the X-Files. This book is a history of American anti-communism from 1917 to 1991. It covers the good (Sidney Hook, Norman Podhoretz, William F. Buckley) and the bad (Joseph McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover). Mr. Powers conclusion is the bad does not stain the good and that American anti-communism was a positive force in the world, helping to free millions from the communist nightmare. 8 people found this helpful.

This book restores the struggle against communism to its historic place in American life. Richard Gid Powers shows that McCarthyism, red-baiting, and black-listing were only one aspect of this struggle and that the movement was in fact c The American anticommunist movement has been viewed as a product of right-wing hysteria that deeply scarred our society and institutions. This book restores the struggle against communism to its historic place in American life.

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In the first full-scale history of American anticommunism, Richard Gid Powers - author of a widely praised biography of J. Edgar Hoover - reminds us what this. The American anticommunist movement has been viewed as a product of right-wing hysteria that deeply scarred American society and institutions. This book restores the struggle against communism to its place in American life.

Powers characterizes American anticommunism as a ""complex, pluralistic movement,"" and in his overview of its history it becomes apparent that anticommunism has encompassed a broad spectrum of beliefs, from uninformed paranoia to intellectual neoconservatism. Less strong is the author's assertion that the movement's story is not one of extremism. His own pages are full of vivid examples of anticommunist heavy-handedness, starting with the 24-year-old J. Edgar Hoover, who conducted a brutal, iniquitous, glory-seeking bust of communist groups in 23 states in 1920.

the history of American anticommunism. by Richard Gid Powers. Published 1995 by Free Press in New York. Richard Gid Powers shows that McCarthyism, red-baiting, and black-listing were only one aspect of this struggle and that the movement was in fact composed of a wide range of Americans-Jews, Protestants, blacks, Catholics, Socialists, union leaders, businessmen, and conservatives-whose ideas and political initiatives were rooted not in ignorance and fear but in real knowledge and experience of the Communist. Not Without Power is superbly written and richly detailed

Not Without Honor: The History of American Anticommunism. The Free Press, 1995. Now that the Cold War is over and even Russian politicians and writers denounce communism, it is time, Richard Gid Powers proposes in Not Without Honor, to acknowledge those Americans whose unfashionable early opposition to communism has won them honor abroad even if, as he claims in the last sentence of his interesting book, "in their own country they are still without honor. Anticommunism in America, Powers, a professor at the City University of New York, makes clear, was hardly a monolithic movement.

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Reminding readers of the serious threat that was posed by communism for several decades, a full-scale history of the volatile American anticommunist movement also profiles its most noted contributors. 15,000 first printing.
Reviews: 7
Galubel
A readable chronicle of the anticommunist movement in the United States during the 20th century. Now that communism is dead, the memory of its opponents lives on only as caricatures of paranoid witch hunters and persecutors of innocent social democrats. The book is a necessary counter that defends the honor of principled opponents of a malignant ideology.

Powers does lay into the anticommunists who were paranoid, witch hunters, and persecutors of the innocent. Who he places in that group apparently irks some reviewers. Also irksome to readers might be his dismissal of the excesses of the anticommunists as the outcome of a rambunctious but well-meaning political debate. Still, as his book relates and recent events continue to show, trying to place the ideas and principles of your political opponents outside the pale of polite society and proper civil discourse is a common tactic of the left and right.

While Powers criticizes the tactics of some anticommunists, he never analyzes their strategy or their motivation. He takes for granted that communism is obviously something that everyone--social democrats, Wilsonian progressives, Catholics, Jews, and libertarians--should naturally find abhorrent.

A more serious gap in the book that has widened over time is that the communists themselves mostly remain offstage. When Powers wrote the book the dust from the fall of the Berlin Wall was still settling. Even at that time communists were confused with social democrats and progressives. The book would have retained more of its value over time if Powers had shown the reader who the communists really were.
Boyn
Richard Gid Powers is Professor of history at City University of New York Graduate Center and the College of Staten Island, and is also the author of Secrecy and Power: The Life of J. Edgar Hoover,Broken: The Troubled Past and Uncertain Future of the FBI, and G-Men: Hoover's FBI in American Popular Culture. He begins the Prologue to this 1995 book by citing President Reagan's famous June 12, 1987 speech in Berlin, where he proclaimed, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Powers observed, "Reagan was reaffirming his solidarity with a long line of anticommunists... By the late 1980s the convictions that had brought Reagan to the Berlin Wall were known to few except the anticommunists themselves, their original force tarnished and obscured by bitter memories of Joe McCarthy, the John Birch Society, and now Oliver North. To recover this anticommunist tradition we must peel away the accretions of time to encounter the first Americans drawn into that century-long struggle."

He states that the "smokescreen of lies" that was created by anticommunists about communism "made it hard for anyone to believe that the danger of communism was anything except a figment of the paranoid imagination." (Pg. 91) When Sidney Hook and John Dewey protested against the "show trials" of the Stalin era, liberals and "fellow travelers" such as Corliss Lamont signed an "Open Letter to American Liberals" defending the trials as valid, and attacking Hook and Dewey (Pg. 143).

After Alger Hiss was convicted of perjury, countersubversives "had their proof, and they could use Hiss's conviction to lend credibitility to their most outlandish red web fantasies." (Pg. 225) Concerning McCarthy's infamous list of 205 names "that were made known to the Secretary of State and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department," Powers observes that "There was no list of 205 names, nor of 57, nor of any number. The figure 205 was the result of slightly faulty arithmetic. Secretary of State James Byrnes had written ... that 285 security risks had been located... and 79 had been fired. After subtraction, the remainder, 206, mistakenly became McCarthy's 205 in the speech." (Pg. 239)

He later notes that "The extreme radical right was melting down in the heat of insane power struggles... The John Birch Society membership now consumed their energies attacking each other over real or fancied insults... During the 1980 presidential campaign some Birch Society members attacked the Society for not seeing that Reagan was 'an absolute fraud, created and promoted by the Conspiracy... as a prelude to the final takeover.'" (Pg. 356)

He concludes on the note, "The heroes of the defeat of communism, Solzhenitsyn, Havel, Russians, Czechs, Poles---all have honored American anticommunists' stand against communism. Honored abroad, however, in their own country they are still without honor." (Pg. 429)

This book is a wonderful, and well-balanced history of this now-almost forgotten era.
Framokay
Richard Gid Powers' book on the history of anticommunism offers valuable insights about the problems that plagued the movement. Because of the misdeeds of Herbert Hoover, anticommunism came across as a movement indifferent to civil liberties. Because of the misdeeds of the counter subversive wing of the movement, anticommunism came across as a bunch of crazy kooks who saw a spy wherever they looked, something out of the X-Files. Because the smear tactics of the Dies Committee and Joe McCarthy, anticommunism was viewed in negative terms. But the story doesn't end here. It includes the principled leadership of Scoop Jackson, the intellectual legwork offered by the folks at Commentary Magazine and yes, the anticommunists in the American labor movement. His treatment of Whittaker Chambers does not demonize FDR, but shows the pragmatic choices Roosevelt had to make during World War II.

Powers unearths a lot of material and tells the story in a straightforward manner. Really impressive.

Many of the insights he provides in this book are readily applicable to the movement opposed to Islamism in the United States and the West. Very valuable.
Prorahun
This book is a history of American anti-communism from 1917 to 1991. It covers the good (Sidney Hook, Norman Podhoretz, William F. Buckley) and the bad (Joseph McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover). Mr. Powers conclusion is the bad does not stain the good and that American anti-communism was a positive force in the world, helping to free millions from the communist nightmare.