HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the 60's

by Peter Collier, David Horowitz

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1773132,725 (3.64)4
As leading New Leftists in the Sixties, Peter Collier and David Horowitz were intimately involved in the radicalism of the day. Later on, they became the first of their generation to publicly reject the objectives of that revolutionary era and point out the cultural chaos it had left behind. Part memoir, part political analysis, part social history, DESTRUCTIVE GENERATION is the compelling story of their intellectual journey into and out of the radical trenches. Telling stories of the New Left's most famous (and infamous) personalities and events, Collier and Horowitz reveal the destructive legacy of the Sixties and the way in which that decade continues to cast a long shadow over politics and culture today. When it was first published more than a decade ago, DESTRUCTIVE GENERATION was a controversial bestseller that some critics compared to Whittaker Chambers' powerful political testament, WITNESS. This new edition contains new material which makes this classic work more relevant than ever in our own divided time.… (more)
None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 4 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
The authors outline people and events that occurred during the 60's that led to radicalism and extreme leftist agendas. Previously very liberal, the authors now take a new look at the 60's, and what they find in the mirror isn't pretty.

While many powerful events happened including the Civil Rights movement and the march from Selma to Montgomery, some groups such as the Weatherman, were consistently doomed to implode, with various splinter groups trying to hold it together unsuccessfully. Martin Luther King died an unhappy man in some respects, he became severely depressed when he saw that Malcolm X was taking the original non-violent focus and pushing to the exact extreme, with the agenda of violence to accomplish justice.

The first chapter is an eye opening statement regarding the 60's liberalism and it's personal effect on Fay Stener. A radical attorney, she represented hardened serial criminals originally believing they were oppressed by a repressed government. Representing radical Black Panther founder Huey Newton, she visited him often in jail and spent countless hours, given at no cost to Newton. She was quite surprised when after all her efforts, seeing him at a local function, he did not acknowledge her. Meeting George Jackson when he was 28, he already had spent ten years in jail. She was immediately seduced and had a sexual relationship with him. Clouding boundaries, she was not able to see that eventually of all those she represented, only one turned himself around, and it wasn't George Jackson.

Stener died by suicide after she was gunned down by a member of his group who demanded she write that she had betrayed George Jackson. Paralyzed and unable to perform even menial tasks, she took her own life.

Focusing primarily on radical destruction of the 60's including Chicago burnings and a generation of peace, love and tranquility that did not quite work out the way they planned it to, the author talks of selfishness, self aggrandizement and people who tried to do what they thought was good for society, only to watch their movements become dust in the wind, the kind of dust similar to the great dust bowl that hit the midwest United States, scorching and burning all in it's path.

I was only eight years old in 1960 and hailed from a very small blue-collar town. My focus during the 60's was on the music. Still too small to realize the impact to the assignations of Martin Luther King, John and Robert Kennedy, as I grew older, I embraced the music and the bell bottom hip hugging pants of the late 60's early 70's. I too was self absorbed.

While the author makes good points, I still came away believing that what occurred in the 60's was a direct implication of what occurred in a cookie cutter 1950's where all women and men had to be the same. The 60's brought about the fact that I now can obtain a credit card and hold a job without guilt of not being a stay at home mom.

The title lets the reader know where the author stands, I simply wish there would have been a more rounded approach. ( )
  Whisper1 | Jul 29, 2015 |
My reactions to reading this book in 1991.

This book is a general collection of essays on various topics.

“Requiem for a Radical” sets the metaphor for most of this book and the radical experience. It’s hard to feel sorry for Fay Stender’s attack at the hands of a follower of Black Panther George Jackson. Stender spent a good chunk of her life excusing people like her attacker, saying they were victims of society and racism, vanguards of revolution. She worked hard and effectively at freeing them. Her attack seems to be a case of reaping what you sow. As Collier and Horowitz point out, her radical ideas helped kill her and true innocents. Yet, and this is the disturbing revelation Collier and Horowitz really want driven home, her fellow radicals can’t give up the faith, admit their error, pull the veil from their eyes.

“Doing It” is the tale of complete losers: the Weatherman. Losers as humans, they only seemed to have a lust for violent revolution; smashing society, the system; seeking transcendence and “breaking on through to the other side”. Losers as revolutionaries, they were dangerous incompetents who committed mercifully few bombings. As loser intellectuals, they share an amazing talent for a total lack of introspection and historical irony and appreciation. The Weathermen seem the archetypal spoiled rich kids unaware of the irony of their pose, of the gifts of their inheritance.

“Post-Vietnam Syndrome” seems out of place here, not obviously involving radical left-wing politics. Besides being an exercise in dichotomy, it seems to me that the cop and criminal play their roles amid the wreckage left by the politics of the left vis-a-vis the criminal justice system. And the criminal is a black man obviously capable (and who did) make it in the white world but chose a life of crime. It’s also an interesting tale of two lives inextricably intertwined, first as comrades, then advesaries.

“Baddest” is simply the evil life and sleazy times of street thug Huey Newton, christened revolutionary messiah by the New Left. It’s amazing how they kowtowed to him and the grotesque excuses and protection they afforded him.

“Divided Loyalties” outlines a real Leftist plot complete with front groups run by Cuban intelligence officers and Congressman who let Communists write their official reports, “neutral” think tanks serving a leftist cause. I would have liked more information on some of the references to official government documents. In fact, one of my objections to this book is its very limited bibliography. In one sense, though, it is not needed. This is partially Horowitz’s and Collier’s memoir. They are the primary source here.

“McCarthy’s Ghost” is a vindication of my statement that Joe McCarthy was the best thing that ever happened to the Communist party. It's not that Horowitz and Collier are fans of McCarthy. They’re not. They see him as slanderous, irresponsible, and, like Whitaker Chambers, very destructive to anti-communism because, for leftists around the world as well as in America, calling someone a McCarthyite is like Lenin calling Kautski a traitor -- an instant way to quell the search for truth. Horowitz and Collier point out McCarthy did find communists, that communists -- especially American communists with their slavish devotion to Stalin -- had divided loyalties, that if their political philosophy was of honest opposition they shouldn’t have lied about them, that anti-McCarthyites perilously weakened the FBI’s security apparatus, and the institutionalized anti-anti-communism. The Communist party is the only political party in America that doesn’t have to reveal its funding.

“Slouching Towards Berkeley” shows what happens when the New Left gets its own town: living under the umbrella of the Bill of Rights prevents gulags in Berkeley, but it still shows enough of the hell of the New left vision made concrete. A pothole-infested city with a foreign policy, no concentration camps here just a place where residents (few deserving) of public housing must pass a loyalty oath, where the blacks (much touted as the cause of Radical Berkleyians) suffer under government that will not respond to them, where city property is cleverly diverted for use by radical left causes, where liberals are despised by the New Left more than the all but extinct conservatives, and, as explained wonderfully in the closing anecdote, not very progressive dogs just can’t shake that pack instinct.

“Radical Innocence, Radical Guilt” is an angry chapter that blasts the Radical Left between the eyes. Horowitz and Collier rip apart the sham “honesty” of many recent books by unrepentant sixties' radicals with their strategic ommissions of fact and doctored chronologies. But their biggest target is the New Left’s all-consuming lie that America made the Revolution fail, a lie systematically created and spread by the evil Noam Chomsky. America supposedly made Castro commie, made the Khmer Rouge do it, drove the Sandinistas away. Horowitz refutes this by recollecting a conversation he had with Castro.), IOf course, the American devil invocation is the last New Left defense. First comes denial. Eeven if the truth is known, it must be denied for the sake of the revolution. Then come claims of exagerration about Communist brutality, then the diverting arguments of numbers (e.g. Pol Pot killed not 3, but 1 million).

In the last three sections of the book, Collier and Horowitz bravely, eloquently, and poignantly tell of their own journeys of recantation and apostasy. For each, especially Horowitz, leaving the New Left meant leaving a religion of always blooming Utopia and totalitarian poetry, turning their back on a paradigm that explained everything and outlined morality and promised earthly paradise, of denying a lifetime of adult belief and action and thought to enter into a dark, mature vision of an imperfect world, betrayal by comrades, self-delusion and courageous admission of complicity in evil deeds. As Horowitz says of his dad and his Old Left colleagues, their innocence was only due to their impotentcy. The New and Old Left implicitly and explicitly worshipped totalitarian terror. The murder of Horowitz’s friend by Black Panthers he compares to Stalin’s purges. As he says, the actions of the New Left differed from Stalin only in scale. Both began their journeys after the horrors of Vietnam which they smugly said would never happen.

While both cherish America, democracy, and capitalism, they clearly are not at home with conservatives. Their outlook for the future is grim perhaps because they know their new enemies’ cunning all too well and can never share in the sometimes overblown optimism of some conservatives.

And they tell, as perhaps their greatest service, of the seductive, siren song of Communism: it’s appeal to justice, fairness, equality. For the radical leftist, their is no revolutionary past -- only the future, no failed revolutions -- only a promising new one, no evil in Marxism-Leninism -- only evil men. But Collier and Horowitz show the “luminous words of the great promise” are terror, murder, poverty. They judge the New Left not be its proclaimed intentions but by its concrete results. It is not evil men that betray the revolution, it is that the philosophy is evil. ( )
  RandyStafford | Oct 17, 2012 |
2428 Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the Sixties, by Peter Collier David Horowitz (read 23 Dec 1991) The authors were co-editors of Ramparts magazine in the 1960's, but became aware of the evils they promoted and by 1984 they voted for Ronald Reagan. There is a chapter on the Weather Underground--the dedication to evil of its members makes one believe the devil possessed them. This book was apparently written before the latter part of 1989, since the authors, like Whittaker Chambers, still believe they left the winning side for the losing side! I am not sure I should have read this book, since it certainly may accelerate my trend to conservatism. [That trend was cured by Newt Gingrich and his crew after the 1994 election.] ( )
  Schmerguls | May 8, 2008 |
Showing 3 of 3
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Collierprimary authorall editionscalculated
Horowitz, Davidmain authorall editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

As leading New Leftists in the Sixties, Peter Collier and David Horowitz were intimately involved in the radicalism of the day. Later on, they became the first of their generation to publicly reject the objectives of that revolutionary era and point out the cultural chaos it had left behind. Part memoir, part political analysis, part social history, DESTRUCTIVE GENERATION is the compelling story of their intellectual journey into and out of the radical trenches. Telling stories of the New Left's most famous (and infamous) personalities and events, Collier and Horowitz reveal the destructive legacy of the Sixties and the way in which that decade continues to cast a long shadow over politics and culture today. When it was first published more than a decade ago, DESTRUCTIVE GENERATION was a controversial bestseller that some critics compared to Whittaker Chambers' powerful political testament, WITNESS. This new edition contains new material which makes this classic work more relevant than ever in our own divided time.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.64)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 1
2.5
3 3
3.5 2
4 3
4.5
5 4

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 177,147,856 books! | Top bar: Always visible