Rewriting history and the McCarthy era example

Harvey Klehr talks about Setting the Record on Joe McCarthy Straight after looking at Soviet archives. The real point of the effort, though, is the problem with the academic elite parading is history professors.

“One of the oddest phenomena in the academic world is the nostalgia so many professor display for communism. The human costs of that ideology, we now know, run upwards of 100 million dead in the former Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, eastern Europe and North Korea. In light of archival evidence that during the Great Purges of the 1930s, the USSR was executing almost 1000 political prisoners a day,

The collapse of the Soviet Union dismayed a number of historians who have lamented the sense of “triumphalism” among those who applaud its end.

Most disturbing has been the willingness of many historians to blind themselves to historical evidence.

Confronted by explicit evidence that such people as Lauchlin Currie or Harry Dexter White were spies, their defenders have invented scenarios so implausible that I am tempted to say that only an academic could credit them.

historians have concluded that the weight of the evidence of Soviet espionage is so overwhelming that it can no longer be denied. Instead, they have decided to justify it.

If espionage on behalf of Joseph Stalin’s Russia is simply an untraditional form of patriotism, then words like loyalty and patriotism have lost any meaning.

Facts do matter. And it should be a matter of concern to all of us when historians distort facts.”

For years, history has been rewritten to accomodate the political beliefs and ideologies of the academics who purport to study it. When the Soviet Union collapsed and some of its records exposed the reality and that reality did not jive with the ideology, dissonance occurred. The resulting behaviors are described and worth noting.

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