THE COMMITTEE AND ITS CRITICS by William F. Buckley Jr.

THE COMMITTEE AND ITS CRITICS

KIRKUS REVIEW

A major conservative statement defending the existence and the work of the House Committee on Un-American Activities by William F. Buckley, Jr. and the editors of the National Review. Buckley, as polemically acute as ever, makes claim to many tenets as ultimate premise, but there is perhaps no more basic statement to be found in the book than his assertion: "The tragedy is that it in at this moment, when the state is so gravely threatened, we find ourselves frozen in inaction by Lofty and otherwordly pronouncements of John Stuart Mill... It is nothing short of preposterous willingly to tolerate an active conspiracy in our mideast." Among the many propositions that the book attempts to validate are that the Committee performs licitly, that it performs a necessary function, and that its investigatory powers have yielded aplently. (It has made 129 legislative commendations between 1941 and 1960, 35 of which are now law of the land, 13 of which have been implemented by Presidential Executive Order.) Buckley and friends have a gift for logistics which trims down instead of nipping at the bud. Thus, to the argument that the work of the Committee bears some resemblance to Salem and the witches burned therein, the Conservative argues that the witches in Massachusetts were hanged and not burned. It is in keeping with the tenor of this book that Alger Hiss is given a fully documented, languish chapter, while Dr. Edward Condon in dismissed with a paragraph or two ending not with the 's statement that there was "no question whether concerning Dr. Condom's locality to the US", but rather with some snide remarks about Gondon's reluctance to appear before the HCUA (4 years after injustices incurred) topped off by a final "He denied having been a Communist". Buckley's admirers buy books.
Pub Date: March 23rd, 1961
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1961




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