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The Library Of Communist [Update on 20FEB10 at 1355]

18 February 2010 @ 14:46

Yesterday, Rob, of Say Anything Blog, decided to visit The White House while waiting for the CPAC festivities to start:

I arrived in Washington DC today to cover CPAC and since I was in town, and since CPAC doesn’t really get rolling until tomorrow, I tagged along with some Scott Hennen Show listeners on an extensive tour of the White House as part of the Common Sense Travel Club. One of the stops on the tour (which was wonderful by the way) was the White House library.

Now, according out the person who guided our tour, the library is stock with books picked out by the First Lady, Michelle Obama. Being a bit of a bibliophile, I started to peruse some of the books on the shelves…and lookie, lookie what I found….

I’ve taken the picture he took and cropped and filtered it so the image is clearer of the books he’s talking about:

The books, left to right [all emphasis mine]…

The Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America by Lawrence Goodwyn

From The Progressive’s review, posted over at Amazon: ”A history of Populism that will be the new standard against which all future efforts must be measured.’

Populist Revolt: History of the Farmers’ Alliance and the People’s Party by John Donald Hicks

From the New York Herald Tribune review, posted over at Amazon: ‘Professor Hicks has given us here a thorough, scholarly, sympathetic and spirited history of the entire Populist movement. He has brought to his task years of patient research, a nice sense of balance and proportion, and intelligent comprehension of the historical background and foreground, the highest standards of scholarly accuracy and impartiality, a correct sense of organization, and a style entirely adequate if not brilliant.’

The Socialist Party of America: A History by David A. Shannon

I am not sure if it is this book as it is very hard to make out the author name or publisher on the photo.  If this is, indeed, the book pictured, I have not found any review that indicates Mr. Shannon is a radical Leftist.

The American Socialist Movement 1897-1912 by Ira Kipnis

From the review by Mike Davis, posted over at Amazon: ‘This is the epic story of the struggle to build a mass socialist movement in ragtime America. Kipnis was a brilliant historian, and this is his enduring gift to activists.’

The Social Basis of American Communism. A Study of the Social Origins of American Communists…Who they Were, Where they Came from, Why they Joined by Nathan Glazer

Mr. Glazer was cut from the same cloth as Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Are we surprised at Lady Michbeth’s choices?….Nah, didn’t think so.

Great thinking, Rob; bravo.

The Memeorandum thread is here.

Update on 20FEB10 at 1355…

Apparently, Steven Levingston, over at The Washington Post, has found out that the books have been in The White House Library since Jackie O had them put there in 1963.  You can see the details by clicking here and viewing Pat Austin’s posting [I’d rather give her the hit than The Post].  Two things to note: (1) Mr. Levingston misspells Ira Kipnis’s name and (2) I was correct that the book The Socialist Party of America: A History was indeed the one authored by David A. Shannon.

I stand corrected and apologize to Michelle Obama.

One question arises: While I do not fault subsequent Presidents for letting the books in the group by avoided radical Leftists remain on the shelves [they, obviously have had more important concerns and, anyway, who wants our CinC’s to be so anal], now that we know what’s there, should not some of the books be removed because they are nothing more than the works of fellow-travellers and/or dupes?

  1. 18 February 2010 @ 18:57 18:57

    I can’t believe they let you take a picture. That’s awesome. And why am I not surprised at the selections either…

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      18 February 2010 @ 19:11 19:11

      I wish I could take credit for taking the pic, but it was Rob over at the Say Anything Blog who did.

  2. Larry Sheldon permalink
    20 February 2010 @ 16:20 16:20

    I have all sorts of books that most emphatically reperesnt any part of my world-view.

    But they havbe at one time or another provided a window into somebody else’s world-view.

    There are bad books, but there are no evil books.

    There are books about evil people and books about evil things and books written by evil people.

    But there are no evil books.

    (Cf, “Guns don’t….”)


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