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stalin

Politics/World

Christopher Hitchens: Premature Anti-Castroite

Nearing the end of his life, Christopher Hitchens no longer considered himself a Trotskyite, or even a socialist. But he never repudiated his Vietnam-era politics, and to his dying day praised the “heroic” Vietcong, despite Ho Chi Minh’s obvious Stalinist-style politics and how said politics were murderously applied after Saigon fell (Hitchens, like others in the New Left, blamed Minh and Pol Pot’s savagery on America’s relentless bombing campaign). But Hitchens departed from the New Left from the very beginning by criticizing one of their sacred cows: Fidel Castro. Like Lee Harvey Oswald (who, as a gun-brandishing Marxist-spouting deadbeat, would… Keep Reading

Culture/History

George Orwell: More Astute Than Edmund Wilson

Biographers of literary critic Edmund Wilson have asserted that the writer who bears the closest resemblance to Wilson, who reigned as America’s premier man of letters from the 1920s—1960s, is George Orwell. Writing of his subject, Lewis Dabney sought to validate this trans-Atlantic connection by stating that, like Wilson, Orwell was “a social critic who’d digested Marxism, a satirist and autobiographer until 1984 better known as a man of letters than for his fiction.” Dabney noted that both men, rarely praiseworthy of their contemporaries (although Orwell inexplicably lauded Henry Miller), were so toward each other. Orwell lauded Wilson’s essay on… Keep Reading

Culture/History

The Struggle To Publish Animal Farm

George Orwell’s devastating satire on Stalinism, Animal Farm remains even 72 years later, along with Nineteen Eighty-Four, the gold standard for totalitarian literature. But Orwell’s classic novel which established the phrase “Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others” nearly didn’t secure a publisher, who based their rejections not on the quality of the book, but because of its unwelcome politics. Written and submitted during the height of Soviet popularity in 1943-1945, who, as a war-time ally pushed Hitler all the way back to Berlin, the fable was rejected not only by pro-Stalinists and at least one KGB agent, but by… Keep Reading

oliver stone
History/Politics

Oliver Stone Educates And Misleads

I recently had the opportunity to watch The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone and, as I’m sure was intended, it was a thought-provoking experience. It is for many reasons a masterpiece of documentary filmmaking. The research behind it left no stone unturned and the archival footage included in the ten-part series is awe-inspiring. It is well written and well narrated by Stone. It is thorough and informative and enlightens the viewer to the many unseemly aspects of governance in the greatest nation in the history of mankind. Less thorough and more friendly than Stone’s treatment of… Keep Reading

World

The Ukrainian Crisis: Rebels With a Cause

In Defense of Self-Determination The toppling of the government of Ukraine caused a wide-array of reactions in the United States.  Like most Americans, my first reaction was that of elation when pro-European Union forces overthrew what seemed like an Eastern European dictatorship.  But, that doesn’t tell the whole story of the initial coup d’état in Ukraine. Western Ukraine is wholly different from the East.  It has longed for European contact for the last century.  The West has a built in dislike of Russia.  During Joseph Stalin’s reign in the Soviet Union the Ukraine became the target of Holodomor.  Holodomor was… Keep Reading

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