Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey

Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey

by David Horowitz

In a narrative that possesses both remarkable political importance and extraordinary literary power, David Horowitz tells the story of his startling political odyssey from Sixties radical to Nineties conservative.

A political document of our times, Radical Son traces three generations of one American family's infatuation with the radical left from the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 to the collapse of the Marxist empire six decades later.

From his vantage point at the center of the action, he populates Radical Son with vivid portraits of people who made the radical decade, while unmaking America at the same time.

Horowitz's encounter with Newton and his Black Panthers, the most celebrated radical group of the Sixties, becomes the focal point of the story when a brutal murder committed by the Panthers changes his life forever, prompting the profound "second thoughts" that eventually led him to become an intellectual leader of conservatism and its most prominentactivist in Hollywood.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Politics
  • Rating: 4.11
  • Pages: 468
  • Publish Date: April 21st 1998 by Touchstone
  • Isbn10: 0684840057
  • Isbn13: 9780684840055

What People Think about "Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey"

Right now a lot of young people are protesting and many are saying things that I believe (and hope) they will regret saying and wish they could take back later. Those young people also simply KNEW that they had the answer to all the problems in the world and all it would take is a left wing (socialist) government. So today do these young people (mostly 18 to 25 but led by hardcore left wing people who are career politicians of the left) believe they have the answer. David was a hardcore leader of the "New Left". Please...keep reading, just a few more lines and then if you want you can forget this and the book I'm recommending. Don't believe all the main stream outlets say as in general they are run and peopled by those of the left. I leave you with a quote attributed to George Washington: "A government big enough to give you everything is big enough to take everything away." Please read the book before you decide you don't like it.

Though the book is political in nature and ultimately takes a very strong political stand, the overall tome is an account of David Horowitz's personal experience with a disengaged father, who never met his pleasure.

Immersed from childhood in a world including some of the foremost communist/progressive activists of the time, Horowitz grew up a committed radical. On a personal level, I found the book interesting because I too had a "conversion" of sorts in my life - not on the level of Horowitz - but similar in small ways.

Horowitz's autobiography cum memoir takes the same path, although with the added benefit of understanding that his liberalism, or more accurately, his revolutionary radicalism on behalf of a Marxist ideal, was not something he found organically and adopted. As Horowitz continued to work with Newton and, as Newton became less and less able to lead the party, Elaine Brown and others, he noticed that much of activity of the party was actually low-level thuggery and an attempt to control the Berkeley-Oakland criminal underground. Disillusionment with the discrepancy between the ideals and actions of leading Leftist revolutionaries and the dissolution of his marriage and his most productive writing partnership brought Horowitz low. At the conclusion of the Vietnam war, Horowitz realizes that nobody that he as actually protested with cares at all about the Vietnamese people or the government to institute communism in the country. He continues to write as a biographer, having restored his writing partnership, but removes himself from activism and fundraising as he sees a greater and greater number of 60s radicals betraying their stated ideals to live in luxury and snicker about their involvement in murders. He concludes that he's a conservative only insofar as he has gained an idea of history and what does and does not work.

It wasn't easy and along the way you learn some startling things about the inner workings of the communist party in America in the early part of the 20th Century.

A wonderful profile of a former radical who came to grips with his beliefs and engaged the dogma around him, eventually becoming a Reagan-supporting conservative. After becoming involved with The Black Panthers and Bobby Seale he came to see the ugliness of the movement that he loved.

I wanted to read it because I wanted to better understand the mindset of the radical Left, and this was an excellent book for that purpose.

Horowitz was a "big libowski" guy back in the 60's who ended up become a Reagan loving conservative.

David Joel Horowitz is currently an American conservative writer & policy advocate.