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Radicals: Portraits of a Destructive Passion Audio CD – Audiobook, 25 Sep 2012


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (25 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1470827727
  • ISBN-13: 978-1470827724
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 15.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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About the Author

David Horowitz is the author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestseller Unholy Alliance, as well as The Professors, and his celebrated autobiography Radical Son. He is president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and founder of the online news magazine FrontPageMag.com. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'd previously read Destructivr Generation by the same author which I'd read whilst lying on a beach in the Seychelles. Not even the scantily clad women passing by distracted me. In other words it was riveting. This book too falls into the same category. But before I talk about it further I'd like to say that what strikes me about Horrowitz's books is that you feel like you are receiving knowledge and understanding obtained from his life experiences and the desire to understand what makes some people choose evil over good.

Radical's looks into the life history of four such people. People who, with the information readily available to them (if they had bothered to seek it out) about the terrible attrocities committed by adherants to the communist ideology, nevertheless still persued that ideology with vigour and conviction, despite such evidence.

Some of these people like Cathy Boudin knowingly murdered without remorse, innocent people, in persuit of their objectives. The end justified the means in their view. The same mindset that led to the deaths of innocrnts in the French Revolution, The Russian revolution, in Cambodia under Pol Pott and in Germany undrr Hitler's racist form of socialism National Socialism.

Amidst the welter of apologists for communist attrocities in the media, in our schools and Universities and among leftist politicians, David Horrowitz is one of the very few authors who shines a light on evil for our benefit.

Finally, if you are young and are already attached to socialist or communist ideology, read this book and see how lives have been ruined by it. Doing so could, quite literally, save your life.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Morgan on 8 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very American book - apart from Christopher Hitchens, most of the radicals of David Horowitz's book will be unknown to readers outside the USA. Even so it makes fascinating reading, and I'm sure all western countries have their equivalents. The book struck a chord with me because as a teenager I was active in left-wing and Marxist political activism. I came to my senses by realising the enormity of the crimes committed by Communist governments and dictators, the importance of individual liberty and the impossibility of trying to create heaven on earth by punitive measures. It is fascinating to read about how many influential academics and intellectuals are still willing to justify the most evil crimes in history.
Today there is a grand alliance between Marxists and other "Radicals" with extremist Muslim groups. This is an intriguing development - people who claim to be "progressives" allied with the most reactionary, far-right forces in the world. The common denominator is their anti-Americanism, and to some extent this book helps to explain this. However I can't help thinking that Marxists and "Radicals" are simply in love with violent dictatorship in general.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Marks on 31 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The personal is political" - was (and IS) one of the cries of the New Left. People who took the Frankfurt School idea of Cultural collectivism (collectivism under the ironic label of "freedom") to its final conclusions. Everything, no matter how personal, being political - indeed the more personal something was, the more polticial it was to be.

For someone who has always been "on the right" (in my case a culturally conservative libertarian) this is an alien world - but David Horowitz is from this world (born into it - and once one of its leading members) and knows it well.

He shows that a leftist is not just a "thing" - something over there trying to kill me, unless I can kill "it" first. Leftists are human beings - yes human beings whose victory would bring (ironically in the name of "freedom" and "liberation") totalitarianism and the brutal murder of endless millions of people, but human beings just the same.

David Horowitz also shows that the first victims of leftists are not their enemies "on the right" - but THEMSELVES, their own spirit. The doctrine that the personal is political is an intensely powerful political weapon - but it also has two edges, it destroys the very people who seek to use it.

The spiritual (and I do not mean "spiritual" in a religious sense) and, in some cases, physical deaths of leading members of the New Left is a gut ripping story - terrible because they are human beings (as this book clearly shows).

To someone used to seeing leftists from the outside (basically as sneering, lying, space monsters) this book came as a profound shock.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 55 reviews
103 of 116 people found the following review helpful
Another Superlative Horowitz Book! 13 Sept. 2012
By Bernard Chapin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I just got this sent to me in the mail by Regnery and I'm very pleased. Few people on this earth know the political left as well as David Horowitz. He is a meticulous and revealing historian of radicalism and continues to be one in these pages. The writing here is the quality of "The Politics of Bad Faith" and I'm glad to see that he penned it without a coauthor. All Horowitz, all excellence! These chapters are thoroughly fleshed out portraits of leftist regressives who so dominate and paralyze our country at present. Probably the best known in this collection are Christopher Hitchens and Cornell West, but I found his examination of the two feminist figures to be most enlightening as they characterize perfectly the dysfunction and mental disturbance that is feminism. The finest chapter may be chapter six concerning Saul Alinsky titled, "A Radical Machiavelli." However, every paragraph is educational and of value. Radicals is a must read in this election year. I hope the majority of Americans are able to "wake up" this November and end our nation's dalliance with socialism. David Horowitz continues to be a first class author long after the passing of his 70th birthday. That's great news to every conservative. In my view, Mr. Horowitz is an American monument.
85 of 98 people found the following review helpful
Exposing the Destructive Ideals & Agenda of The Left 28 Sept. 2012
By Paul Schnee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"A map of the world that did not show Utopia", said Oscar Wilde, "would not be worth consulting." In this regard Wilde foreshadowed the preference of most of the characters described in "Radicals, Portraits Of A Destructive Passion" a new book by David Horowitz.

Horowitz has written over 20 books, numerous articles and has appeared on countless television programs. It is fair to say that he possesses a keen perception and an unusually incisive mind. As a radical during the 1960s, whose parents were staunch members of the Communist Party, he was the editor of Ramparts magazine and was involved in almost every cause dear to the heart of the Left. In his new book he reveals the tune the Devil is whistling and does so with a precision that comes from whistling it so long and so well himself.

The second paragraph of his introduction gives a hint of what is to come: "The desire to make things better is an impulse essential to our humanity. But taken beyond the limits of what is humanly possible, the same hope is transformed into a destructive passion until it becomes a desire to annihilate whatever stands in the way of the beautiful idea. Nihilism is thus the practical extreme of the radical project. Consequently, the fantasy of a redeemed future has repeatedly led to catastrophic results as progressive radicals pursue their impossible schemes."

To illustrate this Horowitz describes his dealings with, and knowledge of, a cast of characters some of whom had "second thoughts" but could never quite discard the squalid sort of romantic idealism that so often led to evil confirming Benjamin Franklin's observation that "inclination is too strong for reason."

Front and center on stage is Christopher Hitchens the brilliant and engaging public intellectual who had started out as a Trotskyite at Oxford University but whose second thoughts moved him closer to the center and then, after 9/11, to the right on some issues much to the chagrin of his old comrades. He is followed by Bettina Aptheker the intellectually confused feminist, Marxist, and eventual devotee of the Dalai Lama. Cornel West, a man who never met a paranoid racial fantasy unworthy of his time or energy and whose intellectual flatulence and undeserved success, comes next. Horowitz not only skewers West's imposture as a genuine intellectual sustained by his own delusions and the left-wing, liberal glitterati but also describes West's admiration for hate-mongers like Louis Farrakhan. The criminals, pardoned criminals, subversives and traitors like Linda Evans, Kathy Boudin, Bill Ayres, Bernardine Dohrn, Susan Rosenberg and Angela Davis are described in gruesome detail but what is most disturbing is how these vicious scum are able to be forgiven and even awarded celebrity status by a morally derelict academia as well as some of society's elites who have come to see things not in terms of right and wrong but through the clouded and perverted prism of victim and oppressor. Horowitz's tale about his old comrade-in-arms at Ramparts magazine, Susan Lydon, is a sad but an affectionate retrospective on a woman who according to the Guardian was "a feminist writer who launched the debate on the female orgasm". Lydon's intellect was acute but she led a chaotic and checkered life which led to serious drug addiction but according to Horowitz she eventually achieved a "modest liberation" through "honesty, accountability and caring for others." The last radical to appear in Horowitz's cross hairs is Saul Alinsky, a morally bankrupt, clever, corrupt, power-hungry and ruthless revolutionary who in his career of public mischief viewed people as mere utensils of his will and whose acolytes include Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Amongst the dramatis personae Horowitz reveals a real admiration for his friend Christopher Hitchens whose moral compass is far more finely tuned than any of his fellow travelers but then you could say the same thing about your mailman.

Some resentments in life spring from a yearning for fairness but this book goes far beyond the yearning experienced by so many young idealistic radicals, who exist in a state of idiotic bliss, to describe the crass falsifications, the calcified cynicism and the eternal crusade for power of the radical left-wing. It is an essential primer on how radicals think, the utopian schemes which animate them, the ugly destruction, violence and murder to which these schemes so often lead and the void of moral relativism where the truth has been outlawed and where the end always justifies the means. Their advertising appears seductive but in the end they really have nothing to sell unlike David Horowitz whose books are worth twice the price.

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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Obama's Political Mentor Dedicated His Political Guide "To the Devil" 1 Nov. 2012
By James R. Holland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Saul Alinsky, "dedicates his signature work, "Rules for Radicals," to the devil, the
first rebel."

Alinsky also preached "The American System should be burned to the ground, but to achieve this goal you must conceal your intentions. Conceal the goal and you can accomplish anything."

This is an important book about radicals written by a former radical who finally decided that utopian societies were only fantasies that could never actually exist.

In 232 pages and six chapters plus a short introduction David Horowitz shines a spot light on several important radicals including Alinsky and Obama. The six chapters are titled "The Two Christophers, Feminist Accuser, Cultural Decline, Pardoned Bombers, Liberated Woman," and "A Radical Machiavelli."

The last chapter is mostly about Saul Alinsky and his two most famous long-term practitioners and acolytes, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

"By profession Saul Alinsky was a `community organizer,' but like everything else in his political life the term was a calculate camouflage for his real agenda, which was a world-transforming revolution (the original title of his most famous book was "Rules For Revolution"). Alinsky's preferred identification was `rebel,' and his entire career was devoted to the destruction of America's social order, which he regarded as oppressive and unjust, and--in his words--worthy of `burning.'"

"Alinsky came of age in the 1930s, where he was drawn to the world of the gangsters he encountered while doing field studies as a graduate student in sociology at the University of Chicago. Alinsky sought out and became a social intimate of the Al Capone mob and its enforcer Frank Nitti, who became the gang's leader when Capone was sent to prison for tax evasion in 1931. Later Alinsky said, `Nitti took me under his wing. I called him the Professor and I became his student.'"

Alinsky learned a lot from his mobster mentor. He applied it in his own philosophy.

This is an important book and it's a shame that it has come out so close the election because it probably won't get the attention it deserves.

In this review I've concentrated mostly on what the author says about Saul Alinsky and his most successful followers Obama and Hillary. The book explains why Obama continues to say one thing while he does exactly the opposite. He is following his leader's chief goal--to destroy American and rebuild it in a "fairer way."

The author explains how it is impossible to have Utopian Societies" and always will be. Radicals don't believe that Utopia is not possible and ignore how often the attempts at Utopia have totally failed throughout history.
53 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Penetrating analyses of key Leftists/Radicals 22 Sept. 2012
By Carl Pearlston - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is another in a series of excellent books by David Horowitz on the destructive effects of Leftist/Radical politics by those who call themselves Progressives, but who are in truth Socialists/Communists, in eternal, but hopeless, search for the promised Communist Utopia or Promised Land. Horowitz offers compelling portraits of key figures in the Progressive pantheorn, such as Christopher Hitchens, Cornel West, Saul Alinsky, Bettina Aptheker, along with other lesser known radical actors like the bombers Linda Evans and Kathy Boudin, all discussed with penetrating, incisive insights into their motivations, rationalizations, and writings. It is a thoroughly engrossing book, hard to put down, and one of Horowitz's best in showing that the inevitable result of the Leftist revolutionaly aspiration is chaos, which leads inexorably to a totalitarian state.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
An Insider's Analysis of the Radical Left 4 Nov. 2012
By Constantine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
David Horowitz's eye opening look at several case studies of representatives of the radical left is both informative and sincere in its effort to understand the motivation and world view of these would be revolutionary crusaders. A common trait among them is a lack of introspection or concept of what their radical dream world would actually look like. Their goal is basically to tear everything down and see what comes up.

As a college student who had a brief attraction to the left and its iconic hero at that time Che Guevara I was a regular reader of Horowitz's political magazine Ramparts. Ironically it was a cover of one of Rampart's issues that first gave me a twinge and a new awareness that something was not right with this movement. It was a picture of a little boy holding a North Vietnamese flag. I felt it inherently wrong to use a child for a political prop as if he had any idea what the flag meant. Some on the left would say that it's the same thing when you hand an American child an American flag, however, the obvious difference is that if a child is an American there is nothing wrong with him holding the symbol of his country. He can decide himself when he is older what the flag should symbolize and work to make that goal a realization.

Horowitz's conversion from radical leftist to conservative started with a gut wrenching epiphany after the murder of his friend who he reccomended to a job as an accountant for the Black Panthers. My slow journey from radical wannabe to libertarian/conservative was less dramatic. Observation of what the left said they stood for and believed and what they actually did never matched up. Their heroes like Mao ( who killed more people then either Hitler or Stalin )and Che Guevara ( a murderer who as the director for Cuban agrarian reform felt workers should work part time for free for the interests of the state. Hardly a pro union notion)were hardly worthy of the admiration heaped upon them.

The best analysis is of the amoral and ruthless Saul Alinsky who was a firm believer of the ends justifying any means even though the end goal was never clarified except as a vague collectivist paradise. Alinsky is hailed by progressives and liberals to this day from Barack Obama, to Hilary Clinton to Chris Matthews of MSNBC who called him "one of my heroes". It makes you wonder if they have actually ever read his chilling and mendacious philsophy of social activism

Horowitz, by focusing on specific individual stories, shines a light on what they actually believe as opposed to the images they wish to project.
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