This is the first part of a three-part essay.
On a cross country trip some twenty years ago, I pulled into a truck stop that caught my eye moments after it came into view. High above the rows of gas pumps two displays were mounted: a huge, inflated model of a polka dotted Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Christian billboard inspired by the Book of Revelation. It was a sign from above two ways in one, with the last quarter hour of a white clock face printed against a black background, the words "Jesus is coming - Be Prepared," and the hands permanently set to five minutes to twelve, Judgment time.
There they were, big as life: a whimsical echo of Sinclair Oil's Dino the Dinosauri and a message from Scripture on the hour of reckoning. It was American to the hilt: a super-sized comic representation of the one prehistoric animal that everyone can recognize standing next to a literal image of Revelation 1:3, "for the time is at hand," and both of them serving as commercial roadside attractions.
I had driven through towns and cities when Route 66 was still Main Street U.S.A. and had seen any number of signs and cartoon-like models of foods, human figures, and animals at diners, car washes, and auto body shops from the midwest to LA, but the combination of dinosaur and Judgment clock stopped me in my tracks. When I think of them now, their effect becomes all the more heightened by association with the America of Henry Miller's "air conditioned nightmare," which now includes over 65,000 miles of land-destroying interstate highways, millions of cars, buses, SUVs, and tractor-trailers overheating the planet, thousands of junk food restaurants, rampant obesity in cities and towns, new dangerous technologies in energy and food production, and all the other demonisms of America's original sin in exploiting nature for profits, to the point where the earth trembles before its imminent ruin, according to the eco-litany of the left.
I was reminded of that New Testament sign halfway through Al Gore's Earth in the Balance, when his insistent message began to sound like the voice of a secularized Bible thumper in my mind, with his scientistic proofs of nature in crisis substituting for scriptural visions of the Apocalypse. To one degree or another, the warnings of countless environmental catastrophists are similarly filled with doomsday scenarios on the coming of famine, chaos, and extinction of life; and many of the titles of the foundational works read like a secular version of the end of days: The Rape of the Earth, Our Plundered Planet, Silent Spring, and Paul and Anne Ehrlich's The Population Bomb, all written between 1939 and 1968. The alarms they sounded ring louder than ever, and all evidence to the contrary has not lessened their appeal to fresh generations of believers. There is nothing transcendent, however, about the last days they envision, nothing of Christ's "My kingdom is not of this world" or that the righteous will be spared the fate of the sinners. As Fairfield Osborn concludes in Our Plundered Planet (1948), either we send a message across the globe about "the threat of an oncoming crisis," so that "all peoples everywhere may join in common endeavor" to save the earth, or we will all succumb to "the present terrific attack" upon nature's "living resources." Osborn's work had a pronounced effect on Ehrlich in his youth, as it did on Gore when he took a course titled Theology and the Natural Sciences at the Vanderbilt Divinity School.
Translated into thirteen languages and reprinted eight times in the post-war year it was published, Our Plundered Planet broadcast an S.O.S. on the death of civilizations at the hands of "The Plunderer," which is Osborn's term for mankind and the title of part two. Given "the accumulated velocity" with which man was destroying "his own life sources," Osborn insisted that only world-wide planning" could end "the ongoing peril" as a result of "the profit motive," whose defenders were even now causing "mounting injury to people everywhere." In effect, Osborn was calling for a planetary form of centralized planning and describing "the present terrific attack" upon nature in similar terms that Karl Marx had used a hundred years earlier in his call for the proletariat "to centralize all the means of production in the hands of the state" and thereby end capitalism's "exploitation" of the working class "in every land." Osborn recognized the political implications of his work and in his conclusion stated that "others far more competent will have to formulate the program, or others, more audacious, grasp the right to prophesy."
Two decades later, in the midst of the Vietnam War, environmentalist politicians and prophets began to appear. Taking the "teach-ins" and anti-war demonstrations as his model, Governor Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day in 1970ii and in a commemorative speech thirty years later claimed that it was now possible "to forge a sustainable society," transform America by imbuing its institutions "with a guiding environmental ethic," and thereby "change the course of history." In themselves, there is nothing messianic about the science of ecology and its practical applications; but Nelson managed to incorporate Osborn's two types of future spokesmen in one and infused a new politics of environmentalism with an older "right to prophecy," as he did here by nailing the words "sustainable," "sustainability," and "sustaining" twenty-five times into his speech and combining them six times with "forge" and "forging," an industrial metaphor that was popular in old leftwing slogans on the "forging" of a new society, a new world, and even a new man.
Other "audacious" prophets armed themselves with an all-purpose critique that moved from the "counter-culture revolution" into universities, including the "new environmentalism" that Nelson had helped to popularize. In every succeeding variation, from new historicist and post-colonial rhetoric to feminist and social justice theory, there was either overt or implicit agreement that something was "fundamentally wrong with American government and American society" and that "traditional Western thought as a whole needed reconsideration."iii A similar atomizing took place in the environmental movement, which came to include social justice ecology, anti-Christian ecology, "theological," or mystical ecology, eco-feminism, eco-socialism, and even anarchist-inspired eco-terrorism, as in the following outcry at a congressional hearing by a spokesman for the Earth Liberation Front, who struck the pose of a revolutionist facing a capitalist firing squad:
All power to the people. Long live the earth liberation front. Long live the animal liberation front. Long live all the sparks attempting to ignite the revolution. Sooner or later the sparks will turn into flame.iv
Craig Rosenbraugh's outburst bears no resemblance to Osborn's modest claim in his conclusion that he has only attempted "to present a synthesis of some of the biological and historical facts of human existence"; yet Osborn's "synthesis" is based on a series of narrow choices among "some" of these "facts," and, like Rosenbraugh's vision of a planet in crisis, they are all directed to the warning that "man is destroying the sources of his life." It has been the working premise of environmentalist ideology for at least a hundred years: "... the final goal of 'progress' is nothing less than the destruction of life,"v now rendered as "The very future of life on Earth is in danger," which Earth First! places at the beginning of its mission statement under the title "No Compromise in Defense of Mother Earth." Echoing Marx's declaration that capitalism and its global "giant, Modern Industry" have modernized oppression through "naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation," Osborn remarks early in his work that the industrial revolution has allowed man "to exploit far more effectively than he could previously the living natural resources of all of the continents of the earth." Both statements illustrate Simone Weil's observation in "The Power of Words" (1934) that "we seem to have lost the very elements of intelligence," among them "the idea of limit, measure, degree," and "proportion," and replaced them with "myths and monsters." For Osborn, the exploitation of "our life sources" is just such a monster, which he projects onto the human record as a story of "plunder," "depletion," "destruction," and "despoliation," with man's "silent war" upon the earth playing the same part in Our Plundered Planet as the victimization of the lower orders by "the ruling class in every age" in The Communist Manifesto.vi
Environmentalism and communism thus share the same driving belief that the world has entered an acute phase of an age-old crisis. The mass campaigns of the new environmentalism have even unfolded in the same two ways that Moscow disseminated Marxism-Leninism in an earlier time. As in the structure of Soviet propaganda, which was inflexible in its ideology and opportunistic to the point of self-contradiction in practice, the central doctrine of environmentalism - that "nature's balance" is fragile - remains fixed and absolute, while the main targets and slogans keep shifting as circumstance requires. Hence the totalitarian impulse in a movement that thrives on promoting coercive environmental regulations based on scenarios of planetary catastrophe, even as those same predictions either contradict or redefine previous forecasts that were once proclaimed with equal intensity. Visions of man-made global cooling through atomic war have given way to a new apocalypse of man-made global warming through the peaceful uses of modern industry; alarms about the depletion of fossil fuels have morphed into alarms over methods of extracting vast deposits that continue to be discovered, and, in the wake of technological advances in food production, earlier warnings of dwindling food supplies have been replaced by new warnings about greatly increased food supplies, the monster in this case being the "food imperialism" of biotech companies and profit-hungry "superfarms," whose "mountains of additional food" are being marketed at the expense of "sustainable farming" and will "never eliminate hunger, as hunger in America should never let us forget."vii This is the same America that is allegedly facing a double-edged crisis of obesity, in medical terms through the consumption of the two great culprits, "junk food and fast food" (including all "processed foods"), and environmentally through the destructive consequences of their production and preparation, so that every step in the process that leads to eating junk food "threatens the environment."viii Indeed, whatever form the disaster may take, such is the twisted nature of this irreligious religion that countless thousands seem to hunger for any word of the planet's demise. At a large Earth Day rally in 1990 in the nation's capitol, writes John Tierney, "Ehrlich was one of the many Malthusians warning that this was humanity's last chance to save the planet. ... The crowd of more than 200,000 applauded heartily after Ehrlich told them that population growth could produce a world in which their grandchildren would endure food riots in the streets of America."ix
In 2009, the Ehrlichs defended their signature work in "The Population Bomb Revisited," which included a self-retracting apology that, although, "In honesty, the scenarios were way off, especially in their timing," they nevertheless dealt "with future issues that people in 1968 should have been thinking about - famines, plagues, water shortages, armed international interventions by the United States, and nuclear winter ... all events that have occurred or now still threaten."x What the Ehrlichs refer to "In honesty" is an exercise in face-saving at the expense of thought, since the "timing" of predicted events is irrelevant if the predictions themselves are "way off."
It is one thing to be wide of the mark in foretelling the future, but the Ehrlichs even have problems in seeing the past, not Shakespeare's "dark backward and abysm of time" but their own immediate past. In 2009, there needed no historian come from the grave to tell them that the Soviet regime had left countless ecological disasters in its wake, that communism had created the greatest man-made famines in Russia, China, and North Korea, that Communist China had intervened in the Korean War and swallowed Tibet, that Russia had absorbed eastern Europe and the Baltic states after World War II and made "armed international interventions" in Poland, Hungary, and Afghanistan, along with military and political inroads into the Caribbean, and that Israel had faced imminent threats of annihilation and ensuing attacks by Arab armies ever since its war of independence in 1948.
But what need of facts if they contradict the party line? The very sound of its doomsday alarms is a drum beat of one bias or another, with America typically bearing the brunt of attack. Textbook examples can be found in the final chapter of Osborn's book, where we read that congressional representatives of powerful interest groups in agriculture are attempting to strike "a new body blow ... at our forests," that "a national catastrophe" may occur through the speed with which "the basic living elements of our country" are being destroyed, and that this destruction is legally sanctioned as "the American way of doing business." Even as he writes, Osborn fears that new proposals for legalized plunder are threatening the ecology of the western states; yet there is nothing new about his indictment of the nation's commercial activity, which was expressed almost from the beginning of the republic by any number of old-world Europe's writers and thinkers. Having visited the United States in 1832, to cite a prime example, the poet Nikolaus Lenau summed up "the general character of American institutions" with the snide remark that "what we call Fatherland is here only a property insurance scheme."xi More to the point of Osborn's book, we find a similar parallel between land destruction and "the American way of doing business" in Ludwig Klages's "Man and Earth" (1913), although Osborn has none of his flair: "Very soon, the face of the earth will be transformed into a gigantic Chicago, pocked with a few patches of agriculture!"
If one were to be asked on an IQ test if "armed international interventions by the United States" belongs in the same group as "famines, plagues," and "water shortages," the correct answer would be no. In Ehrlich-think, however, the answer is yes, although one has to read "The Population Bomb Revisited" with an attentive ear in order to understand why the grouping makes sense to them. It has nothing to do with evidence, since the Ehrlichs never present any, but grows out of their predisposition to single out the country and portray it in a negative light, both in subtle and not so subtle ways. The one exception that they make is for groups and individuals with whom they agree. At separate points, the public at large and even mankind come in for a pasting, although America remains a constant target of their negativity.
The Ehrlichs do cover other nations in the piece, and they also suggest with some emphasis that they have always been even-handed in their work. None of their critics in 1968, for example, "seemed to understand that the fundamental issue was whether an overpopulated society, capitalist or socialist ... could avoid collapse." We no sooner come to "collapse," however, than balanced thinking stops. The one example of a fall on this scale was the Soviet empire, and overpopulation was precisely not the problem; yet the Ehrlichs insist that their planetary forecasts are truer than ever, the only difference between then and now being the speedup of the doomsday clock as a result of "Four decades of largely ignored population growth and related issues - especially patterns of rising consumption and their environmental effects." Not to be outdone by other alarmists, they claim that these dangers not only "make collapse now seem ever more likely" but that it may come "possibly sooner than even many pessimists think."
The reference to capitalism and socialism appears in a brief opening discussion on early negative responses to The Bomb. According to the Ehrlichs, these criticisms were directed at their views on overpopulation and came "from both the far right and the far left." Hence the implication that their work is above partisan politics and therefore strictly objective.
Politics and partisan interests, however, are inseparable from environmentalism, turn it around how we will. According to the Ehrlichs, who are not above disparaging "the vast majority of people," both "the man in the street" and "individuals who otherwise might be considered highly educated" were perhaps "the biggest barrier to acceptance of the central arguments of The Bomb." Even now, they are still unwilling "to do simple math and take seriously the problems of exponential growth." By contrast, "a series of scientists" who "vetted" the work included "some who became top leaders in the scientific enterprise."
Thus begins the main portion of the Ehrlichs' concluding defense, which is bathed in an air of authority with a view to suppress any doubts about their predictions. In the first of two passages taken from "world" statements on environmental threats to the future, they cite the 1992 "Warning to Humanity" issued by the Union of Concerned Scientists, which was "signed by more than 1500 of the world's leading scientists, including more than half of all living Nobel Laureates in science," who collectively agreed that man and nature "are on a collision course." A year later, fifty-eight international academies, "including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and the Third World Academy," took part in a "Science Summit" and released a statement which similarly claimed that the growth of "human numbers" increases "the potential for irreversible changes of far-reaching magnitude."
Bibliographical references also tend in one direction: "Are we consuming too much?" Our Final Hour, "Multinationals make billions in profit out of growing global food crisis," "How the world's oceans are running out of fish," and, among eight works jointly written by the Ehrlichs, Betrayal of Science and Reason: How Anti-Environmental Rhetoric Threatens Our Future. The very title is a lesson in what Eric Voegelin in Science, Politics and Gnosticism refers to as "the prohibition of questions." He describes it as a characteristic impulse in all modern-day mass movements that take the form of an "ersatz religion," whose leaders find one way or another to suppress "critical analysis" of their assumptions and make that suppression "part of their dogma."
No passage in the Ehrlichs' defense of The Bomb illustrates this principle more concisely than their discussion of James Hansen, "a top NASA scientist," who told Congress, in their words, that "the volume of man-made carbon dioxide already injected into Earth's atmosphere can remain for no more than a couple more decades without causing changes such as mass extinctions, ecosystem collapse, and dramatic sea level rises. In summary, he said, 'We're toast if we don't get on a very different path.'" The very tone of these alarms is meant to ward off thought, as is the silence of the Ehrlichs, who allow Hansen's over the top warnings to stand unopposed. This at a time when a growing body of scientists had already challenged both the premises and research of Hansen and other climate alarmists and taken them to task on both accounts.xii
At times, the Ehrlichs seem deaf to what they themselves are saying. The best example appears toward the end of their piece, in which they defend The Bomb in a way that undercuts their earlier appeals to scientific authority. These include ominous statistics and reports of new threats to "our life-support systems," such as "the potential of chlorofluorocarbons to destroy the ozone layer and make life on Earth's surface impossible." We are thus meant to believe that environmental disaster is the shape of things to come; yet in the first paragraph of the conclusion we read that it was only natural for the work to have "its flaws," since "Science never produces certainty."
Earlier in The Bomb Revisited, the authors make two statements about the work that are also at odds with each other, one of which concerns a correct prediction of theirs, the other an error on the same subject for which they give no account, although one suspects that they made it because they were unhappy with the possible consequences of being right about their previous forecast. In the first, they write that they "were proven entirely correct" in their "estimate that high-yield grains held the most hope for increasing human food supplies." In the second, they state that The Bomb got "the food situation ... wrong in that it underestimated the impact of the green revolution," an impact that they could have also gotten entirely right, since it came about precisely because of those "high-yield grains" which "held the most hope for increasing human food supplies."
There are two constants, however, on either side of the muddle; for in both passages the Ehrlichs do not identify the American agronomist Norman Borlaug by name, let alone refer to him as a "top scientist," even though he was largely responsible for "the impact of the green revolution." On the other hand, they take pains to insist that they were right to be concerned about its "environmental downsides" and right again to recognize that "serious ecological risks would accompany the spread of that revolution." Like other specializers in doomsday predictions, the Ehrlichs are fixated on theirs, in this case that "the reduction of the hungry portion of the world population" was not only temporary but "may well have been bought at a high price of environmental destruction to be paid by future generations."
Their own prescription for feeding a hungry world is also partisan in nature and has its origins in the old socialist phrase "to each according to his needs," which Marx and his followers amplified and which the Ehrlichs repeat almost word for word: "It should be noted that in 1968, as today, there was and is enough food to feed everyone an adequate diet if food were distributed according to need." Distribution, as they mean it is actually redistribution - as all who think this way mean it - and what it requires is not science but human engineering through propaganda and all the resources of central planning, which a student of Soviet practices has defined more precisely as central management.xiii
Having presented their program to feed the hungry, however, the Ehrlichs show no concern for the human as well as "environmental downsides" of this theoretical ideal as it was enforced by brutal regimes with a long record of murder, famine, and ecological degradation. Instead, and with complete disregard of historical fact, they indict mankind itself: "There is not the slightest sign that humanity is about to distribute anything according to need." Still worse is the indictment by a co-believer, whom the Ehrlichs idealize to ridiculous lengths while ignoring the contradiction between their portrait and a statement of his on overpopulation that they immediately cite with implicit approval. Turning once more to their roster of prestigious names, they describe "World-renowned scientist James Lovelock" as the inventor of "the apparatus that allowed discovery of the threat to the ozone layer and saved humanity." This is the same savior, according to them, who "recently stated: 'We have grown in number to the point where our presence is presently disabling the planet like a disease.'" There is no penetrating obtuseness such as theirs, for the Ehrlichs are masters at elevating their warnings to limitless heights of alarm, so much so that a generous mankind would still not suffice to end world hunger, for "it is uncertain how long there will be enough food for everyone even if there were more equitable distribution."
Among the nations they discuss, it is the most productive one of all that increasingly comes to the surface, only to be faulted once again. They are pleased to see lowering birth rates in Japan, for example, and in "the fully industrialized nations of Europe," but there is a "big exception" to this fortunate pattern, namely "the United States, which is a center of over-consumption and whose population continues growing." Moreover, "The United States has also been plagued" by a policy under Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush that promoted "over-reproduction globally" and made "largely successful attempts to roll back environmental regulations." There is an incremental piling on of accusations here within the Ehrlichs' larger picture of an America that "still consumes nearly a quarter of the Earth's resource flows" and has exported the destructive practices of the green revolution around the world. In a 1972 article by Paul Ehrlich and biologist Dennis Pirages, there is an added American threat to the planet as it projects its pernicious industrial model onto developing nations. As they wrote after President Nixon's visit to China,
An "Americanized" China would consume nearly eight billion metric tons of coal equivalent in energy each year, more than the present total world consumption. ... these numbers mean that raising Chinese energy consumption to the American level would amount to doubling the environmental impact of homo sapiens. Indeed, just the concentrated release of heat in parts of China containing most of the population could lead to major, unpredictable climatic effects.xiv
An "'Americanized' China" sounds suspiciously like the old "City of the Big Shoulders,"xv which now threatens the far ends of Klages's "face of the earth."
At first glance, an attack on the natural world by a monstrous Chicago hardly seems like a faithful mirror of the doomsday scenarios that ignited a mass American movement; yet the new environmentalism could tack in several directions at once and managed to incorporate the popular and the fantastical in the blink of an eye. Governor Nelson performed just such a feat in his commemorative address, which he began by making a direct appeal to the populist strain in American life: "Thirty years ago on April 22, 1970, Earth Day burst onto the political scene. Twenty million people demonstrated their concern over what was happening to the natural world around them ... but the political establishment seemed oblivious to it all." Calling it "a truly astonishing grassroots explosion," Nelson described those "twenty million" as a gift to America, which took the form of a heightened environmental awareness that they bequeathed to "the nation's political agenda, where it will remain as a constant reminder for this and future generations."
There was nothing populist, however, in Nelson's closing picture of an overpopulated America, which he openly shared with the Ehrlichs, nor was it any different than Klages's "face of the earth" in local terms. Even Klages's "Very soon" made a predictable appearance when Nelson envisioned the population bomb going off "in 75 to 80 years or sooner," at which point "we will be dealing with twice as many cars, traffic jams, parking lots, paved roads, planes and air fields, schools, colleges, prisons, apartment houses; a tremendous loss of agricultural land, open spaces, wildlife habitat," and "areas of scenic beauty." In short, "a gigantic Chicago, pocked with a few patches of agriculture!"
In a comment that recalls the populist side of Nelson's speech, Osborn writes that the Soil Conservation Service was established "not so much as a result of the government's vision or strategy but principally because the people had been struck with dread" by the worst day of the Dust Bowl one year earlier, in 1934. On the other hand, Osborn also hears the voice of Moscow and devotes several pages to "The transformation that is taking place in regard to a people and their land under the Soviet regime."xvi His examples are more extensive than those on FDR's conservation and dam-building projects, and they mark the first time that he has had anything positive to say in his chapters on "Man's misuse of the land ... going back thousands of years even to the earliest periods of human history."
i See "Gas Station Lust: Sinclair Oil," Anthony Cagle, March 22, 2012 and "Sinclair History: Evolution of the Company Symbol." On the abandonment of the dinosaur theory of oil formation, see "Confessions of an ‘ex’ Peak Oil believer," F. William Engdahl, Geopolitics-Geoeconomics (14 September, 2007). In order to simplify my notes, I will keep documentation to a minimum and provide URLs only where a simple search will not suffice.
ii On contributors to the first Earth Day, see "Who Actually Founded Earth Day?" Jenny Seifert, alltagsgeschichte (April 23, 2012).
iii David Barnhill, "The 'New Environmentalism,'" http://www.uwosh.edu/facstaff/barnhill.
iv Craig Rosenbraugh, in "Philosophy of the Bomb, Propaganda by Deed and Change Through Fear and Violence," Arthur H. Garrison, Criminal Justice Studies,Vol. 17, No. 3 (September 2004), 263.
v Ludwig Klages, "Man and Earth" (1913), in Cosmogonic Reflections, by Ludwig Klages, trans. Joseph D. Pryce, entry no. 521. Many extracts from the collected works are presented as aphorisms. All entries up to 522 are numbered. The rest are poems and a final essay, "Consciousness and Life" (no date).
vi Václav Klaus notes the following parallels: "The environmentalists' attitude toward nature is analogous to the Marxist approach to economics. ... Much as in the case of communism, this approach is utopian and would lead to results completely different from the intended ones." In Klaus, Blue Planet in Green Shackles: What is Endangered: Climate or Freedom? (Washington, DC: Competitive Enterprise Institute, 2008), 6-7.
vii Peter Rosset, "Lessons from the Green Revolution," Food First / Institute for Food & Development Policy (April 8, 2000).
viii "How eating junk food threatens the environment," Eco Friendly (January 9, 2012).
ix John Tierney, "Betting on the Planet," New York Times (December 2, 1990).
x Paul and Anne Ehrlich, "The Population Bomb Revisited," in The Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development, Vol 1, issue 3 (Summer 2009).
xi See James W. Ceaser, "A genealogy of anti-Americanism," The Public Interest (Summer 2003).
xii For a detailed summary, see Chapter 6 in Klaus, "What is Really Happening with Global Warming?" which includes references to thousands of "top scientists" with opposing views.
xiii D. J. Peterson, Troubled Lands: The Legacy of Soviet Environmental Destruction (Boulder: Westview Press, Inc., 1993), Introduction, 16.
xiv Paul Ehrlich and Dennis Pirages, "If All Chinese Had Wheels," New York Times (March 16, 1972).
xv Carl Sandburg, "Chicago," http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/2043. The work was published in the city by Harriet Monroe in her journal Poetry (1914), which later grew into the foundation, also located in Chicago.
xvi Among his sources, Osborn cites an "Information Bulletin" by the Soviet embassy and William M. Mandel's A Guide to the Soviet Union (1946), whose chapters might just as well have been dictated by Moscow into a playback machine. On the American Communist Party's involvement in Washington's agricultural reforms during the 1930s and its role in disseminating Soviet propaganda on collective farming, see the wikipedia entries on Harold Ware and the "Ware group," which included Whittaker Chambers. See also Chambers, https://files.nyu.edu/th15/public/break45.html. Harold Ware figures prominently on the first page of Diana West’s American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character (2013), an in-depth study of Stalin’s penetration of key federal departments and programs under FDR and beyond, beginning with our recognition of the USSR in 1933.