Saturday, October 24, 2009

"How about I Told You So, You F*cking Fools?"

From a wonderful (and unfortunately hilarious) article, Fools for Communism: still apologists after all these years:
The end of the Cold War has produced many such numbing silences. The speed with which the Soviet empire imploded and the economic ruin and popular revulsion that were revealed have made it clear that baby boomer intellectuals and journalists, viewing the world through the distorted lens of Vietnam, overwhelmingly got it wrong. Peasants ate less and were slaughtered more on the other side of the Iron Curtain; the jails were fuller; the KGB's list was a lot longer and a lot deadlier than Joe McCarthy's. A team of French historians calculated the worldwide death toll of communism during the 20th century at more than 93 million. When Hoover Institution historian Robert Conquest used newly available data from the Soviet Union to update The Great Terror, his account of Stalin's murderous purges of the 1930s, his publishers asked for a new title. "How about I Told You So, You Fucking Fools?" Conquest suggested.

And I'm happy to see nut-job Eric Foner coming in for his fair share of abuse:
Columbia's Eric Foner, a past president of both the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians, staking his bid as founder of what might be called the Smiley-Face School of History, denounces "the obsessive need to fill in the blank pages in the history of the Soviet era." He wasn't talking about pesky American historians using the Freedom of Information Act to ferret out new horror stories about J. Edgar Hoover but about a Moscow exhibition on the Soviet gulag. What possible good could come of learning the details of that?

Read on to the end. There's a response by Foner and a reply by the author.

The image is from the notebooks of Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya.

H/T Instapundit.

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