books by David Horowitz

book review score+4

Uncivil Wars:
The Controversy Over Reparations for Slavery
David Horowitz
Encounter Books, 2002, 147 pages

In 2001, David Horowitz placed an ad in several college newspapers, titled "Ten reasons why reparations for slavery is a bad idea - and racist too" to bring attention to the case against reparations for slavery. Reparations is an idea that has been incubating on college campuses for several years. The response to Horowitz's ad could be easily predicted by anyone familiar with the repressive McCarthyist zeitgeist on college campuses today: accusations of being a racist and comparisons with Adolf Hitler.

Comparisons with Hitler and Holocaust deniers should by now be a red alert that political correctness and radical anti-Americanism are afoot; accusations of racism are nowadays so common they are practically meaningless. Horowitz points out that the idea of reparations for slavery is the latest product of the culture of intimidation, racial divisiveness, and legal extortion that has replaced the idealism of the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

At Brown University in Rhode Island, students stole and destroyed an entire issue of the student newspaper that carried Horowitz's ad. Similar acts have occurred in response to numerous other speakers whose message did not sufficiently conform to the simple-minded view, apparently widespread on college campuses, that the West in general and America in particular are the greatest purveyors of evil and oppression in history. Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed was one of many speakers shouted down at Brown University by politically-correct student activists. UT law professor Lino Graglia was verbally lynched by Jesse Jackson and others merely for saying that in some minority communities, educational achievement did not receive adequate support in the home. Benjamin Netanyahu, Jean Kirkpatrick, and Henry Kissinger and many others who espoused unpopular views have been prevented from speaking on campuses by intimidation and threats of violence. College "debates" now routinely advocate one side of the issue purportedly under discussion, with opponents excluded or publicly excoriated, their posters spray-painted with swastikas and, occasionally, their books burned.

On the other hand, Randall Robinson, a leading protagonist of reparations, who openly admits being filled with "rage" and hatred of whites, is welcomed on campuses with open arms. Even at MIT and Harvard, professors such as Noel Ignatiev, who advocates eliminating the white race, and Michael Eric Dyson, who believes racism and slavery are the essence of American culture, are celebrities on campus, while Horowitz must be surrounded by bodyguards to avoid being lynched.

Horowitz describes this bleak landscape on college campuses today as "[a swamp] of almost bottomless ignorance and malice". He describes this stifling atmosphere of Marcusian intolerance as "politics of extortion", which had its origins in the Berkeley "Free Speech Movement" of the 1960s, when the history and social studies departments on college campuses were transformed from libertariums of learning to practicums of polemics. Their central tenet seems to be that some ethnic groups should be endowed with permanent victim status and thus be entitled to special compensation and preferential treatment, while students of European descent, along with all things American or European, are to be villainized at every opportunity. This atmosphere thrives due to the spinelessness of some newspaper editors and many university administrators and is fed by the "intellectual thumb-sucking" of many faculty members and others who wallow in exaggerated and insincere angst at the supposed ocean of racism and oppression around them.

The atmosphere of intimidation on the issue of race is so severe that Mayor Daley of Chicago once "apologized" for slavery, despite the fact that neither Daley nor Chicago ever had any connection with slavery. It is as if an Iowa corn farmer decided to apologize for Nantucket whaling.

In the last chapter, Horowitz explains his opinions on racial determinism and the radical viewpoint of black leaders who claim that "all suffering is victimization" and that therefore all relief must come from outside. Horowitz says, "In this millennium there is no reason to be a victim. But in order not to be one, you first have to stop thinking like one".

On the issue of slavery, Horowitz points out that slavery existed in Africa a thousand years before it was imported to America, and that American slavery constituted less than one percent of the total slave trade between the 7th century and the present. American slavery was hardly the "greatest crime in human history" as Lerone Bennett Jr called it. Indeed, despite efforts to eliminate it, led by the British in the 19th century against bitter opposition by Arabs and Africans, slavery still continues today in Sudan, Mauritania and elsewhere. Activists repeatedly make the historically inaccurate claim that the millions of European, Turkish, and African slaves held by Arab and African slaveowners were somehow better off than the African slaves in America. Unfortunately, those slaves are no longer around to dispute the claim.

Why care? Because a small number of activists in political office or in the educational system can do enormous harm to society using intimidation to circumvent the democratic process and impose their extremist ideologies onto society. It happened when Kansas banned the teaching of evolution a few years ago. It also happened to Texaco and Dow Corning, which were coerced into paying millions in damages on the basis of false claims by activists. By trotting around the world denigrating Western society, 'blame America first' activists like Susan Sontag and Noam Chomsky make America appear weak and villainous, encouraging real oppressors and true evildoers to strike.

And don't even get me started on people like the Australian anti-nuclear nut Dr. Helen Caldicott, who wrote a sanctimonious and emotional book called The New Nuclear Danger which, if the description she gave on C-SPAN is accurate, is filled with outrageous falsehoods and absurdities such as the idea that America is intent on starting a nuclear war, that Caspar Weinberger used to pray on his floor every day for nuclear Armageddon to come, that the country is not free but `controlled' by the Heritage Foundation, and that Cynthia McKinney is one of the few `good' congressmen. (McKinney was the Georgia representative who defamed President Bush by accusing him of allowing the WTC massacre to happen in order to make a profit). Caldicott then goes on to call America's actions in Afghanistan ``genocide'' and compares them to the bombing of Guernica.

Clearly, the movement is not just about slavery. Pro-reparations radical Dorothy Benton-Lewis revealed the truth about the reparations movement when she said "reparations is about ... exposing this country for what it is". For these activists, it is a way to take yet another swipe at the country that spawned them and which already paid a horrendous price 139 years ago, risking its very existence and sacrificing 350,000 of its own Northern soldiers and 150,000 Southerners to destroy the plantation society that practiced slavery and to repudiate slavery as a means of generating wealth. What little wealth slavery had created was destroyed a hundred times over by the American Civil War and the lasting damage it did to the nation. Horowitz asks, "What is the rationale for holding the vanquisher liable for the sins of the vanquished?". These days, it seems, even asking the question can be dangerous.

feb 12, 2002; updated jun 16, 2002


The Professors:
The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America
David Horowitz
Regnery, 2006, 448 pages

This depressing book consists of summaries of the political writings of what David Horowitz considers to be the 101 most radical university professors in America today. It's no secret that the humanities today are in deep decline relative to other fields; the quality of education that students receive today in subjects like history and sociology has been declining steadily since the late 1960s. David Horowitz contends that the main reason for this is the abysmal quality of the humanities faculty, even at top universities such as Harvard and MIT. As Horowitz documents in this book, many of these professors are unable to distinguish between fact and opinion, and seem to believe that indoctrination of students is a legitimate substitute for producing students who can think analytically and intelligently. Based on the quotes in the book, I am ashamed to say that quite a few of my colleagues in academia also appear to be openly unpatriotic, racist, pro-terrorist, and antisemitic. A surprising number are unrepentant former members of radical and terrorist groups like the Weather Underground and Black Panthers. The old saying that there are more Marxists today at American universities than in the former Soviet Union is probably not far from the truth.

This book is more of a reference work than a discussion of the deterioration of academic standards at our universities. The main market for this book would be students (and their parents) who need to know which professors to avoid, and readers who have somehow missed the fact that in the last thirty years, large parts of American universities have turned into, as Horowitz puts it, virtual cesspools of intolerance and hatred. The average person in the real world has little idea of the craziness going on there, where honest professors are intimidated by the radicals, and school administrators who defend academic standards are hounded out of their positions. Most who live in the real world probably also have little interest in hearing the goofy opinions of professors and ex-professors like Ward Churchill, Angela Davis, Sami al-Arian, Noam Chomsky, Kathleen Cleaver, Howard Zinn, and the 95 others described in the book. These professors and their thousands of like-minded comrades have ensured that the most talented students give fields like history, sociology, and linguistics a wide berth. Other fields of study, such as women's studies, black studies, and 'queer studies', which have been created solely to find a place to put the wackos, will certainly be dismissed in the future as the product of a bizarre dark age in academic history in which truth was a distant second to ideology.

mar 19, 2006

book review score+4

Take No Prisoners:
The Battle Plan for Defeating the Left
David Horowitz
Regnery, 2014, 202 pages

By now most people know that the 2008 banking crisis was caused by government interference in the housing market, not by greedy bankers. Democrats forced the banking industry to adopt race-based housing policies that knew to be financially unsound. According to David Horowitz, these policies, intended to help minorities, actually reduced the median net worth of blacks and Hispanics by 53% and 66%. Between 1965 and 2008, the government also spent more than $20 trillion on welfare, with almost no effect. Democrat control of the cities has led to crime, urban decay, poverty, and civil unrest.

For fifty years, says David Horowitz, Democrats have supported policies that are morally repugnant and have failed on an epic scale. Yet they still persist, and they still win elections. Why do they support such self-evidently harmful policies, and how do they get away with it?

Horowitz says that for progressives, the ends justify the means. The end is to impose their socialist vision on the USA; their means are to gain the power to do it by whatever means possible. Howoritz describes an American Left that has betrayed America and left the Middle East in flames, undermined our economy, devastated the lives of the people they claimed to be helping, and stolen our freedom.

The Republicans are only force that could have stopped them, and they failed us. They still fail to understand that the progressives care only about power, not right and wrong, and their lust for power is leading us into tyranny. Until they do, and until they find the courage—not just to fight back, but to go for the jugular—our country will continue to suffer. If Republicans hope to save America, it’s got to be No more Mister Nice Guy.

If you’re a foreigner who wants to know the truth about American politics, or if you’re a Republican who's tired of seeing politicians promise hope and change and deliver corruption and chaos instead, you must read this book.

Only the first 114 pages are new. The last two chapters are reprints of older essays.

feb 07 2015


The Black Book of the American Left, Vol. 1
David Horowitz
Encounter, 2013, 398 pages

If you want to know what makes David Horowitz tick, read this book. It's a collection of his best essays, including “Why I am No Longer a Leftist,” “Neo-Communism,” and “Black Murder Inc,” which is the harrowing story of his experience with the Black Panthers, who he says murdered his dear friend Betty Van Patter. It was this crime that tormented Horowitz and ultimately forced him to realize that his affiliation with the Left, and everything the Left stood for, was a lie. I had read this article a few times before; it's so depressing that I could not read it again here. It's an utterly convincing portrayal of the black liberation movement, its goals, and its criminal methods.

In the 1960s David Horowitz betrayed his country along with the rest of the New Left radicals, but unlike them he had a conscience. Because he was once one of them, he understands that leftism is not a viewpoint, but a religion. Only religious fanaticism could explain how they could continue to believe in communism even after it had failed so spectacularly so often. Horowitz says that there are no liberals in America—only leftists, who differ only in name from the communists we struggled against in the Cold War; and fellow travelers, who will be the first to suffer if the leftists finally achieve their goal and become free to reveal their true agenda.

The title Black Book, meant to suggest a historical document, is misleading: this is more of an autobiography told through his writings about things that happened to him in the 1960s. Horowitz's writing is mostly “people stuff,” but journalistic, clear, pugnacious, polemical, and brutally honest. If he's right, and I think he probably is, the Cold War is far from over, and America is in a desperate struggle for survival. But many of the articles here are over 30 years old, and are more like reminiscences of an old radical about the 1960s and 1970s. This is only Volume 1; three more are coming. This volume may not offer many new insights, but the articles are powerfully written, and they show that David Horowitz is still haunted by his past, and is still in there fighting.

apr 07 2014


The Shadow Party:
How George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party
David Horowitz and Richard Poe
Thomas Nelson Press, 2006, 281 pages

If Americans understood the intentions of the Shadow Party organizers," says David Horowitz in this prophetic book, "they would recoil in revulsion and reject its overtures."

The "Shadow Party" is David Horowitz's somewhat melodramatic name for a committed group of radicals whose goal is to take over the Democratic party, gain political power, and use that power to destroy America as a world power. Since this book was written, they have succeeded at the first two aims, and their pursuit of their third aim is well underway. Only now are the voters, many of whom cared about little more than getting "free stuff" from the government at the expense of the rich, beginning to realize the horrendous price America and the world will pay for their greed, ignorance, and stupidity.

Ordinary Democrats, says Horowitz, have the most reason to worry, because they have been disenfranchised by the takeover of their party by left-wing radicals. Sadly, most Democrats are still asleep and will probably remain so while the government presides over an series of catastrophes that are likely to surpass even the blunders of Jimmy Carter. (Or, more likely, the economy will slowly deteriorate and the Democrats will continue to blame capitalism.) Meanwhile, the Republicans surrendered at every opportunity, putting forth the weakest possible candidate in the 2008 elections. This guaranteed a victory by the party with a junior senator from Chicago as its figurehead, but which in reality is controlled by left-wing radicals and financiers including George Soros.

Although the news media portray Soros as a philanthropist, he is actually a financial vulture, having used his vast wealth to cripple the Bank of England, crash the ruble, and crush the economies of developing countries in Asia. Now, says Horowitz, Soros is focusing his skills on destroying the economy of the country he hates the most: the United States.

But does even George Soros have enough power to turn America into a socialist totalitarian state? David Horowitz believes that he does; but perhaps unsurprisingly, it is difficult for Horowitz to find proof. Soros generously funded the radical group ACORN, which has numerous ties to Barack Obama and has now been indicted in numerous states for vote fraud and other crimes. But Horowitz sometimes reads too much into Soros's words, twisting them to fit his image of Soros as a diabolical mastermind.

Indeed, it might be a mistake to focus, as Horowitz does, on George Soros; there are thousands of other America-haters out there, all of whom would love to see American power crushed, see our stockbrokers driven before them, and hear the lamentations of our women. And now the barbarians have an administration that is, at the very least, sympathetic to their views. It is a dark time for our country.

sep 19, 2009