Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

February 15, 2013

Sean Wilentz: tawdry redbaiter

Filed under: anti-Communism,Counterpunch — louisproyect @ 5:46 pm

Sean Wilentz

Counterpunch Weekend Edition February 15-17, 2013
Sean Wilentz’s Pop-Gun Attack on Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick

Post-Modernist Red-Baiting

by LOUIS PROYECT

It was only a matter of time before the N.Y. Review of Books launched an ideological drone strike against Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick’s “Untold History of the United States”. And who better to sit behind the control panel directing the missile than Sean Wilentz, who aspires to be the Arthur Schlesinger Jr. of our generation.

In its early years the NYR featured Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal and even ran a famous article by Andrew Kopkind backing Chairman Mao’s dictum that “morality, like politics, flows from the barrel of a gun”–accompanied by David Levine’s marvelous do-it-yourself diagram of a Molotov cocktail on its cover.

As the magazine’s editors grew older and more attuned to the needs of the permanent government, it found new causes and new contributors to promote them. Chief among the causes was the superiority of capitalism to socialism and America’s duty to resist any challenges to the global status quo. More and more the NYR began to occupy the ideological niche once held by Encounter, the journal edited by Melvin J. Lasky and funded by the CIA.

full: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/02/15/post-modernist-red-baiting/

10 Comments »

  1. Thanks for taking this on. When I came to Wilentz’s remarks about the correctness of dropping the bomb on Japan I found it difficult to continue reading. I really like most of the NYR but their political commentaries are consistently awful. They impart a sort of disinformation on behalf of the elite. As Adorno found, high culture does not protect from barbarism.

    Comment by Kirk Hill — February 15, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

  2. “high culture does not protect from barbarism.”

    On the contrary, it’s the main source of it!

    Comment by Cliff — February 15, 2013 @ 7:52 pm

  3. What rubbish.

    Comment by Kirk Hill — February 15, 2013 @ 9:45 pm

  4. Any scientist can tell you, scum always rises to the top.

    Let me guess, you have some special connection to the upper crust.

    Comment by Cliff — February 16, 2013 @ 6:40 am

  5. More rubbish.

    Comment by Kirk Hill — February 16, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

  6. Anglo or anglophile? Over thisaway, we say “trash.”

    Let me help you out: “Even more rubbish!”

    Comment by Jim Holstun — February 16, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

  7. Punk was definitely not rubbish.

    Comment by Kirk Hill — February 16, 2013 @ 10:11 pm

  8. The Arthur Schlesinger, Jr analogy is spot on. Wilentz aspires to be the court historian of this era’s Camelot. Find, if you can, the snide remarks he made when Howard Zinn passed away.

    Comment by burghrdt — February 17, 2013 @ 10:00 pm

  9. I deal with Wilentz and Zinn here: http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/howard-zinns-detractors/

    Comment by louisproyect — February 17, 2013 @ 10:11 pm

  10. In the last New York Review, Wilentz makes a shabby defense of his earlier “rubbish” article. Notably, when it comes to his criminal defense of the Hiroshima bombings, he sidesteps the clear evidence of American leadership that subsequently deplored the needless slaughter (Eisenhower. McArthur, et al)and cites some supporting generals like Curtis LeMay, for Christs sake, to clinch his case! Is this the best that the mainstream New York Jewish intelligensia can put forward?

    Comment by Kirk Hill — March 12, 2013 @ 2:20 am


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