This article is written by Jamie Glazov at National Review Online.
This essay marks today’s publication of Culture Wars, volume 5 of David Horowitz’s monumental work, The Black Book of the American Left.
David Horowitz was born in Forest Hills, N.Y., on January 10, 1939, the year of the Nazi–Soviet non-aggression pact, which shattered the illusions of many Communists and other members of the progressive Left. But Horowitz’s schoolteacher parents, Blanche and Phil, remained steadfast in their commitment to the party. They had met in Communist gatherings in the early 1930s and engaged in what turned out to be a lifelong “political romance,” as David later described it in his autobiography, Radical Son, thinking of themselves as “secret agents” of the Soviet future.
In 1956, when Horowitz was 17, the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, delivered a secret speech in the Kremlin about the crimes of Stalin, causing a crisis among the faithful. Party members who had previously dismissed as “slander” claims by their opponents that Stalin was responsible for the deaths of millions now had no choice but to admit that the charges were true. They left the party in a mass exodus that killed the CPUSA as a force in American political life, although for many it was impossible to give up the socialist faith.
Horowitz was a freshman at Columbia University when the fallout from the Khrushchev revelations was causing a crisis in his parents’ circle. Opposed to Stalin but still holding firm to the socialist cause, David focused on his literary studies, taking courses with Lionel Trilling and other distinguished Columbia professors. When he graduated in 1959, he married his college sweetheart and moved to California, where he began graduate studies in English literature at the University of California, Berkeley.
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