ORDEAL BY SLANDER by Owen Lattimore


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We are placing this book under the Dark Horse heading because its reception is unpredictable. There is news value in the congressional inquiry- in the McCarthy charges- the red scare. The freedom to inquire and the freedom to express opinions based on independent inquiry are before the bar of justice. That Owen Lattimore has been made a victim of this trial is unfortunate for him but a challenge for Americans to whom the cause of political and intellectual freedom is dear. In this -- his summation of the attack by McCarthy and his defense and the conclusions related to larger issues which can be drawn there from, Lattimore has proved his own position as a defender of real democracy as conclusively as did David Lilienthal in his more objective This I Do Believe. Ordeal by Slander comes closer, perhaps, to Kravchenko's I Chose Justice in that it is written out of immediate personal experience charged with anger and determination to strike a blow for freedom. But where Kravchenko weakens his blow by discursive scattering of ammunition, Lattimore has hewn to the line, marshalled his defense, and given, line by line, the evidence, less newsworthy spacewise, but essential reading for the citizen who would know the dangers to our liberties in the brand of McCarthyism here revealed.

Pub Date: July 31st, 1950
Publisher: Little, Brown