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David Horowitz

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David Horowitz

David Horowitz (born January 10 1939) was born to a Jewish family in Forest Hills, New York and is a writer and political commentator. He was prominent in the American New Left movement but today holds staunchly conservative views – now referred to as a "lapsed leftist"[1] (http://www.mediatransparency.com/people/david_horowitz.htm). He is currently a writer for the conservative magazine NewsMax and his own FrontPageMag.

Contents

Life and career

His parents Phil and Blanche Horowitz were schoolteachers in Sunnyside Gardens, Queens, New York City and raised their son in a strict Stalinist environment. Horowitz went to Columbia University as an undergraduate, later taking a Master's degree in English literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Horowitz became a prominent member of the New Left movement in the United States—a break with the earlier Communist Party USA. After moving to California, Horowitz became a well-known Marxist supporter of the various leftist causes of the 1960s and 1970s. He worked for the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and authored several books on Marxian interpretations of history, as well as serving as an editor of the radical magazine Ramparts. He also provided help to the Black Panthers and became a confidant of its leader Huey Newton.

As the years went on, however, Horowitz became very disillusioned with some of the tactics of the American Left, especially after one of his close friends, Betty Van Patter, was murdered in 1974. Horowitz attributes her murder to the Panthers; no one was charged or arrested, and the case remains unsolved. Horowitz's thinking gradually became more conservative, and today he is regarded as a leading conservative advocate. Among the key events he credits with his intellectual transformation were the aftermath of the Vietnam War and the AIDS crisis. He has written about his transformation in an autobiography, Radical Son, and Left Illusions.

Horowitz's transition from a left-wing to a right-wing position is said to be shared in common by many other neoconservatives. Horowitz, for his part, strongly rejects the "neoconservative" label.

Horowitz is a prominent opponent of affirmative action programs in the United States; he once distributed an essay titled "Slavery Reparations are a bad idea, and racist too"[2] (http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=1153) to more than 50 college and university student newspapers. Though the essay was offered as a paid advertisement, it nonetheless sparked protests and few papers accepted it. His "crusade against intolerance and racial McCarthyism on college campuses" inspired the book Uncivil Wars.

Academic Bill of Rights

Horowitz, along with some Republican leaders, has been promoting his "Academic Bill of Rights," an eight-point manifesto that seeks to eliminate political bias in university hiring and grading. Horowitz claims that liberal bias in universities amounts to indoctrination and charges that conservatives and particularly Republicans are systematically excluded from faculties. In spite of Horowitz's insistence that this is different from an affirmative action program for conservatives, many liberals believe it is essentially just that.

As if to highlight his assertions of anti-conservative bias at college campuses, Horowitz was attacked with a pie in the face by left-wing activists during a lecture given at Butler University just days after similar incidents at Western Michigan University, during a speech by Pat Buchanan, and Earlham College, during a speech given by Bill Kristol.

Books

Horowitz has written many books and pamphlets, including:

Together with Peter Collier he wrote several best-selling biographies of prominent American families:

Quotes

  • "If blacks are oppressed in America, why isn't there a black exodus?" - from the 1999 Salon article "Guns don't kill black people, other blacks do"
  • "Real human flesh and blood had been sacrificed on the altar of utopian ideals. A collusive silence had followed." - Concerning Betty Van Patter's murder from Jamie Glazov's introduction to "Left Illusions"
  • "For the sake of the poorest peasants in this Godforsaken country, I can't wait for the contras to march into this town and liberate it from these fucking Sandinistas!" - In the dining room of the Intercontinental Hotel in Nicaragua, during the fall of 1987

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