The Politics of Betrayal: Renegades and Ex-radicals from Mussolini to Christopher Hitchens (BOK)
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The radical who becomes a conservative is a common theme in political history. Benito Mussolini, the Italian socialist who became a fascist, is the best-known example, but there have been many others, including the numerous American Trotskyists and Marxists who later became neo-conservatives, anti-communists or, in some instances, McCarthyists. The politics of betrayal examines why several one-time radicals subsequently became part of the establishment in various countries, including the former Black Panther Party leader turned Republican Eldridge Cleaver, the Australian communist Adela Pankhurst who became an admirer of the Nazis, and the ex-radical journalist Christopher Hitchens, whose defection to the neo-conservative camp of George W. Bush's administration following 11 September 2001 offers one of the most surprising instances of the phenomenon in recent times. How and why do so many radicals betray the cause? What implications does it have for left politics? Were the ex-radicals right to become conservatives? This book, the first of its kind, answers these and more questions.