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Radical Son: A Journey Through Our Times from Left to Right
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Radical Son: A Journey Through Our Times from Left to Right

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  682 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
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 ...more
Published February 10th 1997 by Free Press (first published August 1st 1996)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: political
There is so much I could say here. I will say a bit about the book but first I want to do something I've done before and also I'd like to dedicate it to a specific group.

As it happens I read this just after the election (2016). 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. I've heard more than one person call out for the death of the President Elect.

I grew up in the 1960s and was a
May 09, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Racist and islamophobic demagogue justifying his views by maligning leftist movements that he didn't feel truly accepted him. Dude even believed in the McCarthy list, like cmon. Next.
Robert Hall
Mar 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Radical son, while autobiographical, is a thrilling psychological narrative.

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. In other words, it's a book about relationships, and the sometimes impossible nature of reconciliation, couched in a political experience.

The book is an exercise in political persuasion—Horowitz spells out hi
Peter Galamaga
Jul 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Horowitz is a fairly well-known commentator and activist on the Right. What many folks under the age of 50 may not realize is that he was one of the most influential and outspoken members of the radical Left in the 60s. Many of his writings were used as "textbooks" for many radicals of the time.

This book explores his life - starting with his parents - Jewish immigrants who were active members of the Communist movement of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Immersed from childhood in a world including s
Sarah Jamison
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Winston Churchill once said, “If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” I first read it as a thoroughly conservative 17 year old. And I thought, "Hmm." And filed it away. Nobody had yet actually called me heartless, but most teenagers aren't that articulate. Mostly it was about how much I didn't care about other humans.

Horowitz's autobiography cum memoir takes the same path, although with the added benefit of understanding tha
Eric Bjerke
Jun 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
A wonderful autobiography by a guy who grew up communist in America and eventually renounced his far left leanings to be a conservative Republican. 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. It took a long time for Horowitz to see the light and it was so interesting to see how thorough his conversion eventually became. It shatters a lot of currently-held myths that glorify The ...more
Kevin Baker
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Radical Son is David Horowitz's autobiographical journey from "Red diaper baby" to neo-conservative. 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. I think the thing that struck me hardest was Horowitz's casual statements concerning the facts - as he asserts them - that so many organizations were merely fronts for hardline communism in the U.S. in the 1940's, 50's and 60's. Having been on the inside, so ...more
May 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Communism. Marxism. Berkeley University. Radicalism. The Black Panthers. All contemporary interests and affiliations in the life of a young David Horowitz. 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. Born into a Communist home that revered the Soviet Union and Marxism, he attended Columbia with Red professors and eventually headed West to the radicalism of Berkeley. He received ...more
Robby  Delaware
Oct 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Horowitz is without a doubt a right wing nut, but this book is freaking awesome. Horowitz was a "big libowski" guy back in the 60's who ended up become a Reagan loving conservative.

This may be the guy who actually first used the term "neo-conservative" and the expression "a liberal mugged by reality". Maybe. Anyways, even if you aren't conservative or even political, you will find this book extremely interesting.
Apr 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book has cemented my political bent. Horowitz is still taking a risk telling his story - from Black Panther activist to conservative author and radio TV commentator.
Annie Howe
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that changed the way I looked at left and right wing politics. Horowitz's story is an incredible journey, and he writes it brilliantly.
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Opened my eyes to the many lies that society excepts as truths.
Joe Broadmeadow
Jul 23, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A convoluted apology

Horowitz book, Radical Son, tries to explain his passage from radical communist to a new conservative. What peeks through is his embarrassment at his former beliefs, whitewashed with denouncing everything he once embraced.

His new found conservatism reflects a less empathetic view of his fellow humans. The one consistency is he again embraces a failed philosophy. He tries to paint progressive liberalism with the brush of failed communism and the callous conservative right he
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This is a very important book; I wish everyone would read it. It's the author's autobiography, which tells of his life as a radical in the '60s, particularly his connection with Huey Newton and the Black Panthers, and his slowly and painfully coming to the realization that the progressive left is a destructive force. The journey from left to right has been made by others, including Arthur Koestler, Norman Podhoretz, and me.

The author's parents were communists, and he grew up with the philosophy
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Horowitz's journey from radical to, shall we say, right of center really resonated with me. Like Horowitz, my best friend in childhood was a "red diaper" baby, a child of committed communists. Her family would take me along to political rallies, including one featuring Angela Davis, a Communist candidate for president. It was as if my friend Jenny was an exile in her own country--terribly estranged from America. At one point, both of us as eleven-year-olds had a crush on Captain Kirk--that is un ...more
Cynicism or Mediocracy?

Mr. Horowitz is either a very brave, convicted man or a very canny, scary one. Or else some of all of those traits.

Horowitz' autobiography starts Tin Drum-like with a romanticized, simplified history of David's parents and early years. Like Jesus' history there are some gaps.

He carefully makes a case against his detractors (including his earlier selves) and their socialism--because Mr. Horowitz has been saved by Reagan-style Conservativism. Being an uncreative sort, he has
Maximilian Wolf
Jul 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Devastating. Beautifully written account of the author's journey from "Ramparts" editor and leading New Leftist, red diaper baby, to neocon activist. Horowitz worked closely with not only the anti-war left in the sixties, but the Black Panthers and knew many leading leftists from Noam Chomsky to Michael Lerner and Bill Ayers . He was in the thick of things and saw up close the deceit of the left as its totalitarian nature was exposed. His own struggle to reconcile deeply held leftist beliefs wit ...more
Diane Baker
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: liberty-nf
*Radical Son* is a revealing look at OCL(our current leader)---in the sense that Horowitz likely experienced the same kind of "Red diaper" upraising that OCL did, during the fifties. Except that Horowitz saw the light, and became a conservative. Given that he's *been* part of the Left, Horowitz is a voice we need to listen to. His story points up the many paths that we need to explore in order to wean our fellow citizens from the liberal teat, and take them back to a land of freedom and individu ...more
Jan 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a good trip through political history for me. I wasn't very familiar with the politics of the 60's or the Black Panthers so it gave me a good look at things. It did contain some curse words occasionally which were somewhat offensive. Too bad people have to use such base language when they are not well educated (most of it I think was used by people of less than desirable upbringing). It was enjoyable to see how the author changed his views over time.
Horowitz is a sociopath, but this book is still interesting to read. There are some legitimate criticisms of tendencies toward closed-mindedness in the liberal community, though they tend to disappear among the long passages of paranoia, racism, and self-worship. Worth reading if you'd like to see inside the neoconservative mind, and what influences a progressive thinker to withdraw into xenophobia.
Aug 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an exciting account of the political era in which David Horowitz grew up with personal touches that make the book more intimate than a mere history. It is thus an interesting read for those, like myself, with an interest in history and political science. His transformation from radical to conservative makes for fascinating reading and is a unique story.
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
This is a first-hand account of how the left of the 60's, at first led by idealistic socialist intellectuals like Horowitz, was hijacked by liars, sociopaths, and outright thugs. Many of them are still comfortably entrenched in media, government, and academia to this day, where they continue to produce disciples. An important and eye-opening book; really a revelation, at least for me.
Patricia Bergman
Since I've read this book, more and more news stories seem to validate the information David Horowitz revealed in this work. It seems to be essential reading due to the current political and economical climate we are experiencing. I haven't been able to get this book out of my mind.
Moses Operandi
Mar 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readandenjoyed
This was a bitter, realistic, and truthful memoir of the depravity of the New Left movement in America, from the founding in the Marxist 30s to the smoky ashes after the draft was repealed. I admire Horowitz greatly.
Chris Hunt
I had this book on my bookshelf for years before finally reading it. I was excited to finally read it. Unfortunately, though, while I think it's a very important book for its history, the fine and seemingly infinite details were sheer drudgery and I barely made it to the finish line.
Jan 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-american
Horowitz is still a radical... just on the other side. As radicals tend to do. The temperament comes first, the cause later. How much you like this one depends on your tolerance for Boomer narcissism. Mine's nonexistent.
T.L. Blankenburg
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Conservatives and liberals alike should read this book.
Nov 14, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a good biography on the 60's. I am not fan of Horowitz. He is a pretty horrible guy but this is worth the read.
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating and well written book. Its very thought provoking.
Roger Barnstead
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reaffirming my reasons for despising the left for what it was, what it is, what it ever shall be.
This a report from the other side.
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David Joel Horowitz is currently an American conservative writer & policy advocate. He's founder & current president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center & edits FrontPage Magazine.

Horowitz was raised by parents who were members of the Communist Party USA. Between 1956 and 1975, Horowitz was an outspoken adherent of the New Left before rejecting Leftism completely. Horowitz has recoun
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