I Was a Communist for the FBI a Half-Century Later


The years I wasted being what Ron Rosenbaum calls a "buff buff" -- surveying the obsessive in-fighting between rival JFK assassination "researchers" -- has made me wary of "revisionist history": those parallel, "unofficial" narratives too often cobbled together from hearsay, microfiche, junk science and dodgy "eyewitness" testimony.

I dislike the dismissive term "revisionist history" itself, of course.

It's so often associated with twitchy, autodidactic Holocaust debunkery, not to mention the "shape-shifting-alien-lizard" theory of civilization.

However, the fact is, Diana West's new book American Betrayal is a revisionist history of the Cold War, albeit one that boasts the imprimatur of no less than Amity Shlaes.

I just wish there was a more respectable term for what West has produced.

The fact is, West's findings will be fairly familiar to readers of M. Stanton Evans' 2009 book Blacklisted by History.

West acknowledges her debt to Evans throughout, but her own Herculean original research takes Evans' debunking of the left's "red scare" mythology to a new level, and her conclusions are more troubling.