Grand Strategy in the Age of Mass Destruction


    Diana West

               +                                                                        -


Diana and Ron: What Was Going On?


Important book                                                some significant flaws

riveting book (+ ?)


                                                                The problems with the book

                                                                Her unfamiliarity with military history


                                                                ignores the wider context

                                                                rides her counterfactuals too hard

                                                                rhetorical overkill


                                                                no ”scholarly apparatus”

a prodigious amount of reading

                                                                mesmerizes by her voice

                                                                no pretense of scholarly detachment

incandescent, sizzling with outrage,        sarcasm, and, occastionally, hyperbole

Chapter 4 is particularly brilliant (+ ?)

no historian could have written (+ ?)

                                                                vivid writing

                                                                Nothing is repeated just once. I lost count

                                                                This is bound to irritate any historian

“Occupied power” – a metaphor out of control

not the only or most flagrant example of overheated prose (Occupied power)

There is a downside to high-voltage writing


Is West just adding dollops of sarcasm

I looked in vain for that statement in West’s book

West is right to be skeptical

                                                                West’s rhetorical excesses


                                                                She also doesn’t acknowledge


Diana and Ron: The Second Front


                                                                the (her) obsession

                                                                What West misses

                                                                A counterfactual West doesn’t discuss


cites him appropriately (Rees) (+ ?)

                                                                necessary to consider the wider context

                                                                West’s readers are told only


But if her speculations are dubious, she is correct (+ ?)

                                                                A curiously missing in action (Hitler)

                                                                like staging Hamlet without the Prince

Both evil dictators. Both mass-murderers. Check. Check.

Also MIA (Japanese conquest of China)

another irritating mantra that gets repeated ad nauseum

To explain is not to approve-----West has no interest in explaining

But there are no references to (About DotGU)

The malaise West writes about so searingly in both books had deeper causes.


Diana and Ron: Backstory


based on evidence (Venona)                                                         Though she is certainly mistaken about some of the consequences, and her hyperbole regrettable,

strikingly original (+ ?)


                                                                                                                    attitude toward historians

                                                                                                                    she complains

                                                                                                                    she generalizes

                                                                                                                    card-carrying academic historians she reviles

                                                                                                                    West fails to mention (Red Star over Hollywood)


For the record, West rejects this interpretation.


Statements added by request of authors mentioned:

  1. Ron Radosh


I was offended as a historian

I was deeply offended that she could write a conspiratorial history of such calibre

besmirches conservatism

good conservative historians and bad ones. West is an example of the latter. (- ?)

hurts the conservative case in the same way as Joe McCarthy hurt anti-Communism

  1. David Horowitz and Ron Radosh

you (Dr. Lipkes) ignore the elephant in the room; her determination to present American strategy in WW ll as a Communist conspiracy

preposterous theory

you (Dr. Lipkes) are doing an immense disservice to the discussion, as well as feeding the McCarthyite fantasies of her followers.

absurd conspiracy theory that has ugly overtones

For that I (Ron) apologize. But I maintain that I am right in my overall critique (- ?)

(To Dr. Lipkes) To clean up West’s work by ignoring how she pieces everything together in order to sustain a cockamanie and warped theory is not only unfair, but it is wrong and undermines your sincere effort to explain what the controversy is really about.