Portrait of Denial: ‘The Nation’ and Communist Spies

Revelations about the content of the former Soviet Union’s archives about spying in the United States ended some long-running intellectual arguments. After decades of denying that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg or Alger Hiss were guilty and pretending that the Communist Party of the United States was not a Soviet front, a lot of people on the left had to shut up. The anti-anti-Communist point of view about the Cold War was discredited, but for the publishers of The Nation, the impulse to wave the old red flag is still strong. That often leads them, as well as some other sectors of the left such as the New York Times, to pretend as if backing the totalitarian, genocidal, and anti-Semitic regime that ruled Moscow was an innocent romantic phase that all true liberals went through. But as bad as that deplorable tradition might be, the decision of The Nation to publish material about Communist espionage as if the Venona Files had never been published is nothing short of bizarre.

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Portrait of Denial: ‘The Nation’ and Communist Spies

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