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This profile was last updated on 10/11/12  and contains information from public web pages.

Blanche Horowitz

Wrong Blanche Horowitz?

Editor

Ramparts magazine
 
Background

Employment History

  • University of California at Berkeley

Education

  • master's degree , English literature
  • Columbia
7 Total References
Web References
FrontPage magazine.com
www.frontpagemagazine.com, 14 Nov 2003 [cached]
They were enthusiasts of what their son has described in his autobiography, Radical Son, as a "political romance," thinking of themselves as "secret agents" of the Soviet future.1 Phil and Blanche Horowitz were humble schoolteachers who probably never broke a law, but did hope and work for a Soviet victory in the Cold War.For many Party members, like the Rosenberg spies, their identity as secret agents was, in fact, "a fantasy waiting to happen."2
Horowitz's early years were spent in a communist enclave in Queens called Sunnyside Gardens.As a child, he attended the Sunnyside Progressive School, a pre-kindergarten program the Party had set up and, as an adolescent, spent summers at a Party-run children's camp called "Wo-Chi-Ca," which was short for "Workers' Children's Camp."In 1956, when Horowitz was seventeen, the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev delivered a secret speech about the crimes of Stalin to the Soviet Communist Party.
...
Horowitz was a college freshman at Columbia University when these events took place.A young man who did not have to make political choices, he devoted himself to literary studies without drawing any hard conclusions from the Khrushchev-inspired political debate.In 1959 he graduated from Columbia, married his college sweetheart, and moved to California where he began graduate studies in English literature at the University of California at Berkeley.Meeting up with other "red diaper" babies on the Berkeley campus, he began to reignite the passions of his youth and actively joined in the effort to create a new left.
While becoming more and more immersed in radical politics, Horowitz continued his studies for a master's degree in English literature.He was an editor of a new magazine the activists created called Root and Branch, which was one of three publications that would help launch the 1960's left.3 In 1962, he became one of the organizers of the first campus demonstration against the Vietnam War, and in that year he published Student, the first book to express the political vision of the emerging New Left.4
In this book, the young author portrayed the university as the symbol of an oppressive corporate culture, foreshadowing the New Left critiques and campus eruptions to come.In dedicating his book to Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black and stressing his commitment to democratic politics, he also crystallized a difference between the fledgling New Left and the old communist vanguard.Horowitz criticized the Soviet invasion of Hungary and equated it with America's intervention in Cuba, and he broke with economic determinism and the idea that socialism had to follow a centralized plan.5 These deviations from the Communist line prompted an attack on the new book from the reviewer in the People's World, the Party's west-coast organ.
Horowitz's intellectual work in these years reveals some of the roots of his ultimate rejection of socialism.His 1965 book Shakespeare: An Existential View,6 for example, expresses some profoundly anti-utopian ideas.
...
In this essay, Horowitz follows the Hegelian idea that human existence is defined not just by what actually is, but also by what is potentially real.
...
This amounts to a rejection of Marxist materialism, even though at the time and in the flush of enthusiasm created by the notion of a "new" left, Horowitz was not aware of the implications of his ideas.
After publishing Student, Horowitz left California, taking his young family (the couple had a son in 1961 ) to England and then Sweden.Spending almost a year in Sweden, he wrote The Free World Colossus, a "revisionist" history of the Cold War.It was one of the first expressions of the New Left's view of an American "empire," and like all his leftist books was translated into several languages.8 In America, The Free World Colossus became a handbook for the growing anti-Vietnam War movement, providing a litany of America's "misdeeds" abroad-the coups in Iran and Guatemala, the Bay of Pigs and Vietnam-that became a staple of leftwing indictments thereafter.9
Horowitz spent the years 1964-1968 in London, where he worked for the philosopher Bertrand Russell's "Peace Foundation" and came under the influence and tutelage of the Marxist biographer of Stalin and Trotsky, Isaac Deutscher.In this environment, Horowitz's writing career as a New Left Marxist flourished.
...
Returning to America in 1968, Horowitz became an editor at Ramparts magazine, the largest publication of the New Left.He also published a collection of his writings titled The Fate of Midas and Other Essays, which spanned a period of almost ten years in his intellectual development.11 The essays attempted to integrate Keynesian economic theory with traditional Marxist analysis, develop Marx's theory of social class, and assess the impact of the "corporate ruling class" on American foreign policy and intellectual life.
...
These three books placed Horowitz at the intellectual center of the New Left, but a careful reading of The Fate of Midas reveals that he already stood outside radical orthodoxy in significant ways.Writing about Deutscher, Horowitz referred to "The Message of the Non-Jewish Jew,"12 an essay in which Deutscher describes rejecting his orthodox upbringing and how he became a heretic to communism as well.Horowitz would eventually reprise his mentor's alienation.As Deutscher had become a heretic to communism, Horowitz would become a dangerous heretic to the New Left.
...
Horowitz was gradually coming to realize that social engineers could not reshape human nature.But his loyalty to the cause prevented him from recognizing the implications of his thoughts.He now reflects,
...
This event had a traumatic impact on Horowitz, changing him and his politics forever.
The discovery of Betty Van Patter's bludgeoned body adrift in San Francisco Bay threw Horowitz into a state of despair that was to last nearly a decade.
...
Pursuing his own inquiry into the murder, Horowitz was forced to confront three stark facts: his New Left outlook was unable to explain the events that had overtaken him, his lifelong friends and associates in the left were now a threat to his safety, since they would instinctively defend the Panther vanguard, and no one among them really cared about the murder of an innocent woman (even though they were people who made a point of their "social conscience") because the murderers were their political friends.14
...
As Horowitz considered how insignificant Betty's life was in the eyes of his comrades, he recognized a familiar historical reality being played out in the events of his own.Real human flesh and blood had been sacrificed on the altar of utopian ideals.A collusive silence had followed.
Having been forced to face the sordid reality of a political movement to which he had dedicated himself, Horowitz began to ask whether there was something rooted in Marxism or in the socialist idea that had led to socialism's worldly horror.In so doing, the repentant revolutionary made a leap that others could not.He faced the possibility that his entire life until then had been based on a lie.He was willing, further, to connect what had happened to him to the crimes his parents' generation of the left had defended, and thus to accept the fact that there was no "new" left, and that his generation of radicals had repeated their parents' guilt:
...
Everything Horowitz had previously believed, everything he had built his political life on now crumbled before him.Like Whittaker Chambers, a figure of the previous generation, he began to experience a conversion.In a vignette that Horowitz wrote for the New York Times Magazine (which they predictably failed to print16 ) he recounted the stages of his metamorphosis:
...
In pursuing answers to Betty's death, Horowitz discovered that the Panthers had murdered more than a dozen people in the course of conducting extortion, prostitution, and drug rackets in the Oakland ghetto.And yet, to his growing bewilderment, the Panthers continued to enjoy the support of the American left, the Democratic Party, Bay Area trade unions, and even the Oakland business establishment.
...
Horowitz began to realize that the establishment that shaped the culture and determined the parameters of political discourse was sympathetic to the left rather than to the ruling class interests that Marxism had postulated.
Notwithstanding the media blackout and the silence of the Panthers' supporters, the details of their crimes have surfaced over the years principally as a result of Horowitz's efforts.The first notice of what had happened was a courageous article in New Times magazine by a leftwing journalist named Kate Coleman, whom Horowitz had approached and provided with information.19 In a 1986 piece in the Village Voice, Horowitz himself identified the Panthers as Betty's k
FrontPage magazine.com
www.frontpagemag.com, 14 Nov 2003 [cached]
They were enthusiasts of what their son has described in his autobiography, Radical Son, as a "political romance," thinking of themselves as "secret agents" of the Soviet future.1 Phil and Blanche Horowitz were humble schoolteachers who probably never broke a law, but did hope and work for a Soviet victory in the Cold War.For many Party members, like the Rosenberg spies, their identity as secret agents was, in fact, "a fantasy waiting to happen."2
Horowitz's early years were spent in a communist enclave in Queens called Sunnyside Gardens.As a child, he attended the Sunnyside Progressive School, a pre-kindergarten program the Party had set up and, as an adolescent, spent summers at a Party-run children's camp called "Wo-Chi-Ca," which was short for "Workers' Children's Camp."In 1956, when Horowitz was seventeen, the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev delivered a secret speech about the crimes of Stalin to the Soviet Communist Party.
...
Horowitz was a college freshman at Columbia University when these events took place.A young man who did not have to make political choices, he devoted himself to literary studies without drawing any hard conclusions from the Khrushchev-inspired political debate.In 1959 he graduated from Columbia, married his college sweetheart, and moved to California where he began graduate studies in English literature at the University of California at Berkeley.Meeting up with other "red diaper" babies on the Berkeley campus, he began to reignite the passions of his youth and actively joined in the effort to create a new left.
While becoming more and more immersed in radical politics, Horowitz continued his studies for a master's degree in English literature.He was an editor of a new magazine the activists created called Root and Branch, which was one of three publications that would help launch the 1960's left.3 In 1962, he became one of the organizers of the first campus demonstration against the Vietnam War, and in that year he published Student, the first book to express the political vision of the emerging New Left.4
In this book, the young author portrayed the university as the symbol of an oppressive corporate culture, foreshadowing the New Left critiques and campus eruptions to come.In dedicating his book to Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black and stressing his commitment to democratic politics, he also crystallized a difference between the fledgling New Left and the old communist vanguard.Horowitz criticized the Soviet invasion of Hungary and equated it with America's intervention in Cuba, and he broke with economic determinism and the idea that socialism had to follow a centralized plan.5 These deviations from the Communist line prompted an attack on the new book from the reviewer in the People's World, the Party's west-coast organ.
Horowitz's intellectual work in these years reveals some of the roots of his ultimate rejection of socialism.His 1965 book Shakespeare: An Existential View,6 for example, expresses some profoundly anti-utopian ideas.
...
In this essay, Horowitz follows the Hegelian idea that human existence is defined not just by what actually is, but also by what is potentially real.
...
This amounts to a rejection of Marxist materialism, even though at the time and in the flush of enthusiasm created by the notion of a "new" left, Horowitz was not aware of the implications of his ideas.
After publishing Student, Horowitz left California, taking his young family (the couple had a son in 1961 ) to England and then Sweden.Spending almost a year in Sweden, he wrote The Free World Colossus, a "revisionist" history of the Cold War.It was one of the first expressions of the New Left's view of an American "empire," and like all his leftist books was translated into several languages.8 In America, The Free World Colossus became a handbook for the growing anti-Vietnam War movement, providing a litany of America's "misdeeds" abroad-the coups in Iran and Guatemala, the Bay of Pigs and Vietnam-that became a staple of leftwing indictments thereafter.9
Horowitz spent the years 1964-1968 in London, where he worked for the philosopher Bertrand Russell's "Peace Foundation" and came under the influence and tutelage of the Marxist biographer of Stalin and Trotsky, Isaac Deutscher.In this environment, Horowitz's writing career as a New Left Marxist flourished.
...
Returning to America in 1968, Horowitz became an editor at Ramparts magazine, the largest publication of the New Left.He also published a collection of his writings titled The Fate of Midas and Other Essays, which spanned a period of almost ten years in his intellectual development.11 The essays attempted to integrate Keynesian economic theory with traditional Marxist analysis, develop Marx's theory of social class, and assess the impact of the "corporate ruling class" on American foreign policy and intellectual life.
...
These three books placed Horowitz at the intellectual center of the New Left, but a careful reading of The Fate of Midas reveals that he already stood outside radical orthodoxy in significant ways.Writing about Deutscher, Horowitz referred to "The Message of the Non-Jewish Jew,"12 an essay in which Deutscher describes rejecting his orthodox upbringing and how he became a heretic to communism as well.Horowitz would eventually reprise his mentor's alienation.As Deutscher had become a heretic to communism, Horowitz would become a dangerous heretic to the New Left.
...
Horowitz was gradually coming to realize that social engineers could not reshape human nature.But his loyalty to the cause prevented him from recognizing the implications of his thoughts.He now reflects,
...
This event had a traumatic impact on Horowitz, changing him and his politics forever.
The discovery of Betty Van Patter's bludgeoned body adrift in San Francisco Bay threw Horowitz into a state of despair that was to last nearly a decade.
...
Pursuing his own inquiry into the murder, Horowitz was forced to confront three stark facts: his New Left outlook was unable to explain the events that had overtaken him, his lifelong friends and associates in the left were now a threat to his safety, since they would instinctively defend the Panther vanguard, and no one among them really cared about the murder of an innocent woman (even though they were people who made a point of their "social conscience") because the murderers were their political friends.14
...
As Horowitz considered how insignificant Betty's life was in the eyes of his comrades, he recognized a familiar historical reality being played out in the events of his own.Real human flesh and blood had been sacrificed on the altar of utopian ideals.A collusive silence had followed.
Having been forced to face the sordid reality of a political movement to which he had dedicated himself, Horowitz began to ask whether there was something rooted in Marxism or in the socialist idea that had led to socialism's worldly horror.In so doing, the repentant revolutionary made a leap that others could not.He faced the possibility that his entire life until then had been based on a lie.He was willing, further, to connect what had happened to him to the crimes his parents' generation of the left had defended, and thus to accept the fact that there was no "new" left, and that his generation of radicals had repeated their parents' guilt:
...
Everything Horowitz had previously believed, everything he had built his political life on now crumbled before him.Like Whittaker Chambers, a figure of the previous generation, he began to experience a conversion.In a vignette that Horowitz wrote for the New York Times Magazine (which they predictably failed to print16 ) he recounted the stages of his metamorphosis:
...
In pursuing answers to Betty's death, Horowitz discovered that the Panthers had murdered more than a dozen people in the course of conducting extortion, prostitution, and drug rackets in the Oakland ghetto.And yet, to his growing bewilderment, the Panthers continued to enjoy the support of the American left, the Democratic Party, Bay Area trade unions, and even the Oakland business establishment.
...
Horowitz began to realize that the establishment that shaped the culture and determined the parameters of political discourse was sympathetic to the left rather than to the ruling class interests that Marxism had postulated.
Notwithstanding the media blackout and the silence of the Panthers' supporters, the details of their crimes have surfaced over the years principally as a result of Horowitz's efforts.The first notice of what had happened was a courageous article in New Times magazine by a leftwing journalist named Kate Coleman, whom Horowitz had approached and provided with information.19 In a 1986 piece in the Village Voice, Horowitz himself identified the Panthers a
FrontPage magazine.com :: Left Illusions Part I by Jamie Glazov
www.frontpagemag.com, 14 Nov 2003 [cached]
They were enthusiasts of what their son has described in his autobiography, Radical Son, as a "political romance," thinking of themselves as "secret agents" of the Soviet future.1 Phil and Blanche Horowitz were humble schoolteachers who probably never broke a law, but did hope and work for a Soviet victory in the Cold War.
...
In 1956, when Horowitz was seventeen, the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev delivered a secret speech about the crimes of Stalin to the Soviet Communist Party.
...
Horowitz was a college freshman at Columbia University when these events took place.A young man who did not have to make political choices, he devoted himself to literary studies without drawing any hard conclusions from the Khrushchev-inspired political debate.In 1959 he graduated from Columbia, married his college sweetheart, and moved to California where he began graduate studies in English literature at the University of California at Berkeley.Meeting up with other "red diaper" babies on the Berkeley campus, he began to reignite the passions of his youth and actively joined in the effort to create a new left.
While becoming more and more immersed in radical politics, Horowitz continued his studies for a master's degree in English literature.He was an editor of a new magazine the activists created called Root and Branch, which was one of three publications that would help launch the 1960's left.3 In 1962, he became one of the organizers of the first campus demonstration against the Vietnam War, and in that year he published Student, the first book to express the political vision of the emerging New Left.4
In this book, the young author portrayed the university as the symbol of an oppressive corporate culture, foreshadowing the New Left critiques and campus eruptions to come.In dedicating his book to Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black and stressing his commitment to democratic politics, he also crystallized a difference between the fledgling New Left and the old communist vanguard.Horowitz criticized the Soviet invasion of Hungary and equated it with America's intervention in Cuba, and he broke with economic determinism and the idea that socialism had to follow a centralized plan.5 These deviations from the Communist line prompted an attack on the new book from the reviewer in the People's World, the Party's west-coast organ.
Horowitz's intellectual work in these years reveals some of the roots of his ultimate rejection of socialism.His 1965 book Shakespeare: An Existential View,6 for example, expresses some profoundly anti-utopian ideas.
...
In this essay, Horowitz follows the Hegelian idea that human existence is defined not just by what actually is, but also by what is potentially real.
...
This amounts to a rejection of Marxist materialism, even though at the time and in the flush of enthusiasm created by the notion of a "new" left, Horowitz was not aware of the implications of his ideas.
After publishing Student, Horowitz left California, taking his young family (the couple had a son in 1961 ) to England and then Sweden.Spending almost a year in Sweden, he wrote The Free World Colossus, a "revisionist" history of the Cold War.It was one of the first expressions of the New Left's view of an American "empire," and like all his leftist books was translated into several languages.8 In America, The Free World Colossus became a handbook for the growing anti-Vietnam War movement, providing a litany of America's "misdeeds" abroad-the coups in Iran and Guatemala, the Bay of Pigs and Vietnam-that became a staple of leftwing indictments thereafter.9
Horowitz spent the years 1964-1968 in London, where he worked for the philosopher Bertrand Russell's "Peace Foundation" and came under the influence and tutelage of the Marxist biographer of Stalin and Trotsky, Isaac Deutscher.In this environment, Horowitz's writing career as a New Left Marxist flourished.
...
Returning to America in 1968, Horowitz became an editor at Ramparts magazine, the largest publication of the New Left.He also published a collection of his writings titled The Fate of Midas and Other Essays, which spanned a period of almost ten years in his intellectual development.11 The essays attempted to integrate Keynesian economic theory with traditional Marxist analysis, develop Marx's theory of social class, and assess the impact of the "corporate ruling class" on American foreign policy and intellectual life.
...
These three books placed Horowitz at the intellectual center of the New Left, but a careful reading of The Fate of Midas reveals that he already stood outside radical orthodoxy in significant ways.Writing about Deutscher, Horowitz referred to "The Message of the Non-Jewish Jew,"12 an essay in which Deutscher describes rejecting his orthodox upbringing and how he became a heretic to communism as well.Horowitz would eventually reprise his mentor's alienation.As Deutscher had become a heretic to communism, Horowitz would become a dangerous heretic to the New Left.
...
Horowitz was gradually coming to realize that social engineers could not reshape human nature.But his loyalty to the cause prevented him from recognizing the implications of his thoughts.He now reflects,
...
This event had a traumatic impact on Horowitz, changing him and his politics forever.
The discovery of Betty Van Patter's bludgeoned body adrift in San Francisco Bay threw Horowitz into a state of despair that was to last nearly a decade.
...
Pursuing his own inquiry into the murder, Horowitz was forced to confront three stark facts: his New Left outlook was unable to explain the events that had overtaken him, his lifelong friends and associates in the left were now a threat to his safety, since they would instinctively defend the Panther vanguard, and no one among them really cared about the murder of an innocent woman (even though they were people who made a point of their "social conscience") because the murderers were their political friends.14
...
As Horowitz considered how insignificant Betty's life was in the eyes of his comrades, he recognized a familiar historical reality being played out in the events of his own.Real human flesh and blood had been sacrificed on the altar of utopian ideals.A collusive silence had followed.
Having been forced to face the sordid reality of a political movement to which he had dedicated himself, Horowitz began to ask whether there was something rooted in Marxism or in the socialist idea that had led to socialism's worldly horror.In so doing, the repentant revolutionary made a leap that others could not.He faced the possibility that his entire life until then had been based on a lie.He was willing, further, to connect what had happened to him to the crimes his parents' generation of the left had defended, and thus to accept the fact that there was no "new" left, and that his generation of radicals had repeated their parents' guilt:
...
Everything Horowitz had previously believed, everything he had built his political life on now crumbled before him.Like Whittaker Chambers, a figure of the previous generation, he began to experience a conversion.In a vignette that Horowitz wrote for the New York Times Magazine (which they predictably failed to print16 ) he recounted the stages of his metamorphosis:
...
In pursuing answers to Betty's death, Horowitz discovered that the Panthers had murdered more than a dozen people in the course of conducting extortion, prostitution, and drug rackets in the Oakland ghetto.And yet, to his growing bewilderment, the Panthers continued to enjoy the support of the American left, the Democratic Party, Bay Area trade unions, and even the Oakland business establishment.
...
Horowitz began to realize that the establishment that shaped the culture and determined the parameters of political discourse was sympathetic to the left rather than to the ruling class interests that Marxism had postulated.
Notwithstanding the media blackout and the silence of the Panthers' supporters, the details of their crimes have surfaced over the years principally as a result of Horowitz's efforts.The first notice of what had happened was a courageous article in New Times magazine by a leftwing journalist named Kate Coleman, whom Horowitz had approached and provided with information.19 In a 1986 piece in the Village Voice, Horowitz himself identified the Panthers as Betty's killers,20 and in Radical Son, which appeared in 1997, Horowitz gave a detailed account of his Panther experience and Betty's death.
...
In his essay "Still No Regrets," Horowitz writes, "A library of memoirs by aging new leftists and ‘progressive' academics recall the rebellions of the 1960's.But hardly a page in any of them has the basic honesty -or sheer decency-to say, ‘Yes, we supported these murderers and those spies, an
FrontPage magazine.com :: Left Illusions Part I by Jamie Glazov
www.frontpagemagazine.com, 14 Nov 2003 [cached]
They were enthusiasts of what their son has described in his autobiography, Radical Son, as a "political romance," thinking of themselves as "secret agents" of the Soviet future.1 Phil and Blanche Horowitz were humble schoolteachers who probably never broke a law, but did hope and work for a Soviet victory in the Cold War.For many Party members, like the Rosenberg spies, their identity as secret agents was, in fact, "a fantasy waiting to happen."2
Horowitz's early years were spent in a communist enclave in Queens called Sunnyside Gardens.As a child, he attended the Sunnyside Progressive School, a pre-kindergarten program the Party had set up and, as an adolescent, spent summers at a Party-run children's camp called "Wo-Chi-Ca," which was short for "Workers' Children's Camp."In 1956, when Horowitz was seventeen, the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev delivered a secret speech about the crimes of Stalin to the Soviet Communist Party.
...
Horowitz was a college freshman at Columbia University when these events took place.A young man who did not have to make political choices, he devoted himself to literary studies without drawing any hard conclusions from the Khrushchev-inspired political debate.In 1959 he graduated from Columbia, married his college sweetheart, and moved to California where he began graduate studies in English literature at the University of California at Berkeley.Meeting up with other "red diaper" babies on the Berkeley campus, he began to reignite the passions of his youth and actively joined in the effort to create a new left.
While becoming more and more immersed in radical politics, Horowitz continued his studies for a master's degree in English literature.He was an editor of a new magazine the activists created called Root and Branch, which was one of three publications that would help launch the 1960's left.3 In 1962, he became one of the organizers of the first campus demonstration against the Vietnam War, and in that year he published Student, the first book to express the political vision of the emerging New Left.4
In this book, the young author portrayed the university as the symbol of an oppressive corporate culture, foreshadowing the New Left critiques and campus eruptions to come.In dedicating his book to Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black and stressing his commitment to democratic politics, he also crystallized a difference between the fledgling New Left and the old communist vanguard.Horowitz criticized the Soviet invasion of Hungary and equated it with America's intervention in Cuba, and he broke with economic determinism and the idea that socialism had to follow a centralized plan.5 These deviations from the Communist line prompted an attack on the new book from the reviewer in the People's World, the Party's west-coast organ.
Horowitz's intellectual work in these years reveals some of the roots of his ultimate rejection of socialism.His 1965 book Shakespeare: An Existential View,6 for example, expresses some profoundly anti-utopian ideas.
...
In this essay, Horowitz follows the Hegelian idea that human existence is defined not just by what actually is, but also by what is potentially real.
...
This amounts to a rejection of Marxist materialism, even though at the time and in the flush of enthusiasm created by the notion of a "new" left, Horowitz was not aware of the implications of his ideas.
After publishing Student, Horowitz left California, taking his young family (the couple had a son in 1961 ) to England and then Sweden.Spending almost a year in Sweden, he wrote The Free World Colossus, a "revisionist" history of the Cold War.It was one of the first expressions of the New Left's view of an American "empire," and like all his leftist books was translated into several languages.8 In America, The Free World Colossus became a handbook for the growing anti-Vietnam War movement, providing a litany of America's "misdeeds" abroad-the coups in Iran and Guatemala, the Bay of Pigs and Vietnam-that became a staple of leftwing indictments thereafter.9
Horowitz spent the years 1964-1968 in London, where he worked for the philosopher Bertrand Russell's "Peace Foundation" and came under the influence and tutelage of the Marxist biographer of Stalin and Trotsky, Isaac Deutscher.In this environment, Horowitz's writing career as a New Left Marxist flourished.
...
Returning to America in 1968, Horowitz became an editor at Ramparts magazine, the largest publication of the New Left.He also published a collection of his writings titled The Fate of Midas and Other Essays, which spanned a period of almost ten years in his intellectual development.11 The essays attempted to integrate Keynesian economic theory with traditional Marxist analysis, develop Marx's theory of social class, and assess the impact of the "corporate ruling class" on American foreign policy and intellectual life.
...
These three books placed Horowitz at the intellectual center of the New Left, but a careful reading of The Fate of Midas reveals that he already stood outside radical orthodoxy in significant ways.Writing about Deutscher, Horowitz referred to "The Message of the Non-Jewish Jew,"12 an essay in which Deutscher describes rejecting his orthodox upbringing and how he became a heretic to communism as well.Horowitz would eventually reprise his mentor's alienation.As Deutscher had become a heretic to communism, Horowitz would become a dangerous heretic to the New Left.
...
Horowitz was gradually coming to realize that social engineers could not reshape human nature.But his loyalty to the cause prevented him from recognizing the implications of his thoughts.He now reflects,
...
This event had a traumatic impact on Horowitz, changing him and his politics forever.
The discovery of Betty Van Patter's bludgeoned body adrift in San Francisco Bay threw Horowitz into a state of despair that was to last nearly a decade.
...
Pursuing his own inquiry into the murder, Horowitz was forced to confront three stark facts: his New Left outlook was unable to explain the events that had overtaken him, his lifelong friends and associates in the left were now a threat to his safety, since they would instinctively defend the Panther vanguard, and no one among them really cared about the murder of an innocent woman (even though they were people who made a point of their "social conscience") because the murderers were their political friends.14
...
As Horowitz considered how insignificant Betty's life was in the eyes of his comrades, he recognized a familiar historical reality being played out in the events of his own.Real human flesh and blood had been sacrificed on the altar of utopian ideals.A collusive silence had followed.
Having been forced to face the sordid reality of a political movement to which he had dedicated himself, Horowitz began to ask whether there was something rooted in Marxism or in the socialist idea that had led to socialism's worldly horror.In so doing, the repentant revolutionary made a leap that others could not.He faced the possibility that his entire life until then had been based on a lie.He was willing, further, to connect what had happened to him to the crimes his parents' generation of the left had defended, and thus to accept the fact that there was no "new" left, and that his generation of radicals had repeated their parents' guilt:
...
Everything Horowitz had previously believed, everything he had built his political life on now crumbled before him.Like Whittaker Chambers, a figure of the previous generation, he began to experience a conversion.In a vignette that Horowitz wrote for the New York Times Magazine (which they predictably failed to print16 ) he recounted the stages of his metamorphosis:
...
In pursuing answers to Betty's death, Horowitz discovered that the Panthers had murdered more than a dozen people in the course of conducting extortion, prostitution, and drug rackets in the Oakland ghetto.And yet, to his growing bewilderment, the Panthers continued to enjoy the support of the American left, the Democratic Party, Bay Area trade unions, and even the Oakland business establishment.
...
Horowitz began to realize that the establishment that shaped the culture and determined the parameters of political discourse was sympathetic to the left rather than to the ruling class interests that Marxism had postulated.
Notwithstanding the media blackout and the silence of the Panthers' supporters, the details of their crimes have surfaced over the years principally as a result of Horowitz's efforts.The first notice of what had happened was a courageous article in New Times magazine by a leftwing journalist named Kate Coleman, whom Horowitz had approached and provided with information.19 In a 1986 piece in the Village Voice, Horowitz himself identified the Panthers a
FrontPage magazine.com :: Left Illusions Part I by Jamie Glazov
www.frontpagemagazine.com, 14 Nov 2003 [cached]
They were enthusiasts of what their son has described in his autobiography, Radical Son, as a "political romance," thinking of themselves as "secret agents" of the Soviet future.1 Phil and Blanche Horowitz were humble schoolteachers who probably never broke a law, but did hope and work for a Soviet victory in the Cold War.For many Party members, like the Rosenberg spies, their identity as secret agents was, in fact, "a fantasy waiting to happen."2
Horowitz's early years were spent in a communist enclave in Queens called Sunnyside Gardens.As a child, he attended the Sunnyside Progressive School, a pre-kindergarten program the Party had set up and, as an adolescent, spent summers at a Party-run children's camp called "Wo-Chi-Ca," which was short for "Workers' Children's Camp."In 1956, when Horowitz was seventeen, the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev delivered a secret speech about the crimes of Stalin to the Soviet Communist Party.
...
Horowitz was a college freshman at Columbia University when these events took place.A young man who did not have to make political choices, he devoted himself to literary studies without drawing any hard conclusions from the Khrushchev-inspired political debate.In 1959 he graduated from Columbia, married his college sweetheart, and moved to California where he began graduate studies in English literature at the University of California at Berkeley.Meeting up with other "red diaper" babies on the Berkeley campus, he began to reignite the passions of his youth and actively joined in the effort to create a new left.
While becoming more and more immersed in radical politics, Horowitz continued his studies for a master's degree in English literature.He was an editor of a new magazine the activists created called Root and Branch, which was one of three publications that would help launch the 1960's left.3 In 1962, he became one of the organizers of the first campus demonstration against the Vietnam War, and in that year he published Student, the first book to express the political vision of the emerging New Left.4
In this book, the young author portrayed the university as the symbol of an oppressive corporate culture, foreshadowing the New Left critiques and campus eruptions to come.In dedicating his book to Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black and stressing his commitment to democratic politics, he also crystallized a difference between the fledgling New Left and the old communist vanguard.Horowitz criticized the Soviet invasion of Hungary and equated it with America's intervention in Cuba, and he broke with economic determinism and the idea that socialism had to follow a centralized plan.5 These deviations from the Communist line prompted an attack on the new book from the reviewer in the People's World, the Party's west-coast organ.
Horowitz's intellectual work in these years reveals some of the roots of his ultimate rejection of socialism.His 1965 book Shakespeare: An Existential View,6 for example, expresses some profoundly anti-utopian ideas.
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In this essay, Horowitz follows the Hegelian idea that human existence is defined not just by what actually is, but also by what is potentially real.
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This amounts to a rejection of Marxist materialism, even though at the time and in the flush of enthusiasm created by the notion of a "new" left, Horowitz was not aware of the implications of his ideas.
After publishing Student, Horowitz left California, taking his young family (the couple had a son in 1961 ) to England and then Sweden.Spending almost a year in Sweden, he wrote The Free World Colossus, a "revisionist" history of the Cold War.It was one of the first expressions of the New Left's view of an American "empire," and like all his leftist books was translated into several languages.8 In America, The Free World Colossus became a handbook for the growing anti-Vietnam War movement, providing a litany of America's "misdeeds" abroad-the coups in Iran and Guatemala, the Bay of Pigs and Vietnam-that became a staple of leftwing indictments thereafter.9
Horowitz spent the years 1964-1968 in London, where he worked for the philosopher Bertrand Russell's "Peace Foundation" and came under the influence and tutelage of the Marxist biographer of Stalin and Trotsky, Isaac Deutscher.In this environment, Horowitz's writing career as a New Left Marxist flourished.
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Returning to America in 1968, Horowitz became an editor at Ramparts magazine, the largest publication of the New Left.He also published a collection of his writings titled The Fate of Midas and Other Essays, which spanned a period of almost ten years in his intellectual development.11 The essays attempted to integrate Keynesian economic theory with traditional Marxist analysis, develop Marx's theory of social class, and assess the impact of the "corporate ruling class" on American foreign policy and intellectual life.
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These three books placed Horowitz at the intellectual center of the New Left, but a careful reading of The Fate of Midas reveals that he already stood outside radical orthodoxy in significant ways.Writing about Deutscher, Horowitz referred to "The Message of the Non-Jewish Jew,"12 an essay in which Deutscher describes rejecting his orthodox upbringing and how he became a heretic to communism as well.Horowitz would eventually reprise his mentor's alienation.As Deutscher had become a heretic to communism, Horowitz would become a dangerous heretic to the New Left.
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Horowitz was gradually coming to realize that social engineers could not reshape human nature.But his loyalty to the cause prevented him from recognizing the implications of his thoughts.He now reflects,
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This event had a traumatic impact on Horowitz, changing him and his politics forever.
The discovery of Betty Van Patter's bludgeoned body adrift in San Francisco Bay threw Horowitz into a state of despair that was to last nearly a decade.
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Pursuing his own inquiry into the murder, Horowitz was forced to confront three stark facts: his New Left outlook was unable to explain the events that had overtaken him, his lifelong friends and associates in the left were now a threat to his safety, since they would instinctively defend the Panther vanguard, and no one among them really cared about the murder of an innocent woman (even though they were people who made a point of their "social conscience") because the murderers were their political friends.14
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As Horowitz considered how insignificant Betty's life was in the eyes of his comrades, he recognized a familiar historical reality being played out in the events of his own.Real human flesh and blood had been sacrificed on the altar of utopian ideals.A collusive silence had followed.
Having been forced to face the sordid reality of a political movement to which he had dedicated himself, Horowitz began to ask whether there was something rooted in Marxism or in the socialist idea that had led to socialism's worldly horror.In so doing, the repentant revolutionary made a leap that others could not.He faced the possibility that his entire life until then had been based on a lie.He was willing, further, to connect what had happened to him to the crimes his parents' generation of the left had defended, and thus to accept the fact that there was no "new" left, and that his generation of radicals had repeated their parents' guilt:
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Everything Horowitz had previously believed, everything he had built his political life on now crumbled before him.Like Whittaker Chambers, a figure of the previous generation, he began to experience a conversion.In a vignette that Horowitz wrote for the New York Times Magazine (which they predictably failed to print16 ) he recounted the stages of his metamorphosis:
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In pursuing answers to Betty's death, Horowitz discovered that the Panthers had murdered more than a dozen people in the course of conducting extortion, prostitution, and drug rackets in the Oakland ghetto.And yet, to his growing bewilderment, the Panthers continued to enjoy the support of the American left, the Democratic Party, Bay Area trade unions, and even the Oakland business establishment.
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Horowitz began to realize that the establishment that shaped the culture and determined the parameters of political discourse was sympathetic to the left rather than to the ruling class interests that Marxism had postulated.
Notwithstanding the media blackout and the silence of the Panthers' supporters, the details of their crimes have surfaced over the years principally as a result of Horowitz's efforts.The first notice of what had happened was a courageous article in New Times magazine by a leftwing journalist named Kate Coleman, whom Horowitz had approached and provided with information.19 In a 1986 piece in the Village Voice, Horowitz himself identified the
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