The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character
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A nationally syndicated conservative columnist explores the extent and impact of the Soviet Union’s penetration of the United States government.

Referring to Franklin Roosevelt’s “one-man cabinet,” Gen. George C. Marshall once remarked that Harry “Hopkins’s job with the president was to represent the Russian interests. My job was to represent the American interests.” Notwithstanding the many possible alternative readings, West (The Death of the Grown-Up: How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization, 2008) takes this comment as further evidence for her dossier demonstrating that Hopkins was Stalin’s complicit errand boy. In this, as in many other instances, she goes too far, challenging conventional histories at almost every turn. But she also makes a number of valid, sufficiently provocative points. Not until the 1990s, with access to the Venona files and Soviet archives, have historians wholly appreciated the scope of Russian spying in this country from the time FDR formally recognized the Soviet Union in 1933. West matches these new revelations to previously known facts and wonders why we’ve neglected to fully adjust the historical record. Why are whistle-blowers of the era still reviled as redbaiters, informers and rats? How has the stench of totalitarian Marxism, every bit as noxious as its contemporaneous ideologies, Nazism and fascism, failed to fully register? With the aid, she insists, of a small army of occupiers in New Deal agencies, the Treasury, Agricultural and State departments, Stalin had his way with the U.S. government and caused enormous suffering. West blames our elected officials, establishment historians (especially for ignoring intelligence history), blinkered journalists and elites sympathetic to the collectivist agenda for suppressing evidence of what she terms a massive betrayal of our traditions and institutions.

A frustrating mixture of incontrovertible facts and dubious speculation. Proceed with caution.

Pub Date: May 28th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-312-63078-2
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2013


NonfictionVENONA by John Earl Haynes
by John Earl Haynes