Not Well Reds by Richard M. Reinsch II

Not Well Reds

The Anti-Communist Manifestos: Four Books That Shaped the Cold War
by John V. Fleming
W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 2009
(362 pages, $27.95, hardcover)

reviewed by Richard M. Reinsch II

In his highly engrossing book, The Anti-Communist Manifestos: Four Books that Shaped the Cold War, John V. Fleming, professor emeritus of literature at Princeton, recovers four texts—Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon (1940) , Richard Krebs’s Out of the Night (1941), Victor Kravchenko’s I Chose Freedom (1946), and Whittaker Chambers’s Witness (1952)—that unmasked the existential truth that Communism offered to its believers. In many respects, Fleming’s task is immensely complicated. Most contemporary observers struggle either to recall or to imagine the paramount threat once posed to American security by the armed doctrine of Soviet Communism. Equally distant are the compelling moral and spiritual attractions that this ideology offered to men and women of learning and sensitivity who occupied formidable intellectual and political posts.

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