Revolutionaries for the Right Review

Ryan’s review:

Spanning initiatives as diverse as toothless US-based letterhead organizations and Latin American death squads, Revolutionaries for the Right is historian Kyle Burke’s attempt to cast light on the transnational sympathies and collaborations between various anticommunist activists and fighters during the second half of the twentieth century. Among the cast of characters Burke incorporates into his sweeping account are covert operations veteran and Contra coddler John K. Singlaub; CIA alumnus, National Review publisher, Firing Line host, and spy novelist William F. Buckley; Green Beret, Soldier of Fortune magazine founder, and journalist-adventurer Robert K. Brown; and Marvin Liebman, a homosexual communist and Irgun collaborator who reinvented himself as a conservative activist in the 1950s and, in addition to involving himself in various fundraising schemes, went on to launder money for Chile’s Pinochet dictatorship. Burke also takes an interest in the way in which conservative preference for the private sector led some of these activists to suggest that highly motivated grassroots efforts could be more effective than government agencies at challenging communist regimes. The geographical and ideological scope of Burke’s more or less chronological narrative is broad, ranging from Taiwan to Nicaragua to Angola and Afghanistan, addressing both well-known and obscure theaters of anticommunist activity, and comprises a useful contribution to the history of the Cold War. Revolutionaries for the Right is both scholarly and accessible, and pretentious academic speak mars only a couple of pages of this otherwise very readable book.

Click here to find Revolutionaries for the Right: Anticommunist Internationalism and Paramilitary Warfare in the Cold War by Kyle Burke