PROPHETS ON THE RIGHT: Profiles of Conservative Critics of American Globalism by Ronald Radosh

PROPHETS ON THE RIGHT: Profiles of Conservative Critics of American Globalism

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This study of five American political writers and activists makes its point -- that during the New Deal and the Cold War they opposed inflated executive power and foreign interventiontion in a way that now shows them to be more than right-wing kooks. The five are: Robert Taft, Sr., the former Senator from Ohio; Oswald Garrison Villard, quondam Nation writer; John Flynn of the New Republic; Lawrence Dennis, self-affirmed fascist and then laissez-faire advocate; and the historian Charles Beard. They are a fascinating crew. Radosh notes Beard's call for a ""corporatist society"" based on economic autarky rather than expansion abroad. All but Taft were accused of being pro-fascist because they opposed entering WW II. Dennis' actual crime inviting Smith Act prosecution seems to have been his anti-Roosevelt stand; he later became a consistent opponent of NATO, the Red scares, Asian involvement, and so forth, while the others floundered between anti-Trumanism, pro-McCarthyism, attacks on Yalta and digs at the ""corporate liberal"" cry for war against the Soviets. Unfortunately, the book is written like a high-school biography, with even less color; Radosh is constantly nudging the reader while failing to give real background on the issues or to present his own judgment. The problem of economic determinants remains an arch undertone while the world view of Taft, in particular, which would help make sense of his inconsistencies, is reduced to fear of personal isolation. A teaser.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1975
Publisher: Simon & Schuster