[Marxism] John Brown, abolitionist

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sun Apr 17 12:47:18 MDT 2005

Barbara Ehrenreich's review, which discusses its subject 
evidently less sympathetically than does the author of the 
book, concluded on a positive, not a hostile, note:

"How do we judge a man of such different times -- and
temperament -- from our own? If the rule is that there must
be some proportion between a violent act and its
provocation, surely there could be no more monstrous
provocation than slavery. In our own time, some may discern
equivalent evils in continuing racial oppression, economic
exploitation, environmental predation or widespread
torture. To them, ''John Brown, Abolitionist,'' for all its
wealth of detail and scrupulous attempts at balance, has a
shockingly simple message: Far better to have future
generations complain about your methods than condemn you
for doing nothing."


(Midway through this review of a new book that puts John
Brown in a positive light, I found myself growing disgusted
with the reviewer's attempt to sully Brown's reputation
using old charges about him being excessively violent, etc.
That's an old ploy of the Times, to assign hostile
reviewers to leftist books, which this one is obviously. So
who is the reviewer? None other than Barbara Ehrenreich,
who was one of the featured speakers at the opening plenary
of the Left Forum conference. Ehrenreich expended lots of
energy last year smearing another extremist, Ralph Nader.)

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