Saturday, January 02, 2010

Peter Collier Review in The New Criterion

I was delighted to see Peter Collier's review of the Ramparts book in The New Criterion. Few people were in a better position to see the magazine steadily and whole. Peter started as an editor after working for Bob Scheer's 1966 congressional campaign and stayed on through 1972, when he and David Horowitz were running Ramparts.

Like David, Peter has repudiated the magazine and its politics. Actually, he has flayed them energetically for decades now. So it was no surprise that he thought I was too sympathetic to Ramparts' principals and achievements. To make that charge stick, he had to flatten out my perspective a bit--perhaps knowingly, since he cites material from the book that would disturb even a hardcore leftist.

Peter gave the book good marks on accuracy, but I had to laugh when he mentioned a Ramparts hoax I was unaware of. And this after I mocked the flatfooted media types who fell for the magazine's Warren Commission send-up. More evidence that humility is often the best intellectual posture.

You'll also find some fine phrase-making in Peter's review, including a reference to Warren Hinkle's "heroic Irish liver."

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