Today John Hawkins at Right Wing News was kind enough to publish my review of David Horowitz’s A Cracking of the Heart. Here’s an excerpt:
Meet the late Sarah Horowitz, child of political activist David Horowitz, who managed to fuse the painful lessons of her father’s life with a mystical Judaism to complete the task he never could: showing how the Left could save itself from self-destruction.
In 1956 a teenage David Horowitz suffered a wound which would pain him for the rest of his life. The release of the Khrushchev Report – which revealed Joseph Stalin’s crimes – would shatter many relationships. One was between Horowitz and his father. While Philip Horowitz remained loyal to the USSR and the Communist Party his son would chart a different path in pursuit of Utopia.
For the first chapter of his adult life Horowitz would pursue his father’s dream of the “social justice” of a Marxist future while departing from the Old Left. Horowitz was one of the founding figures of the New Left, a movement which sought to rescue the socialist dream from the Stalinist nightmare. Horowitz wrote Student, the first book of the movement, and later The Free World Colossus, one of its most influential texts. By the 1970s Horowitz was editing Ramparts, the New Left’s most important publication.
And then a personal tragedy struck which forced Horowitz to reexamine the dream he and his father had pursued. A colleague was murdered by the Black Panther Party. And this “New” Left ignored the crime, just as they ignored the brutality of totalitarian governments abroad who did the same thing. And in the decades of soul searching that followed, Horowitz could come to one conclusion: a “New” Left was impossible. He abandoned his family’s dream as impossible and became a conservative.
But he was wrong. There was a way for one to remain a progressive, learn from the mistakes of the Old Left and the New Left, and pursue a practical, effective path to heal the world. But Horowitz would not be the one to find it. Instead, his daughter, the late Sarah Horowitz who passed away unexpectedly in spring of 2008, would. And in his tender memoir A Cracking of the Heart: A Requiem for My Daughter, Horowitz carefully assembles the pieces of her life and in so doing, writes his most important book since his autobiography Radical Son.