In Liberal Fascism (Doubleday, 2007, 496 pp.), conservative commentator Jonah Goldberg has produced an extensive work that traces the imprint of fascistic thought on the American left throughout the twentieth century. Needless to say, this is a delicate task that might have emerged from a more reckless pen as a playground polemic in which the right enters in a game of hot potato played by tossing about the political f-word. Fortunately, Goldberg generally refrains from seeking to score cheap rhetorical points. Although he pulls few punches in tracing the ties between American liberalism and fascism, he approaches modern liberalism and its adherents in good faith. He credits today’s left with good intentions and points out repeatedly that the questionable pedigree of the left in this country does not make its modern incarnations guilty by mere association, nor does it make historical figures of the American left actual fascists.
On January 24, 1885, a high drama of 317 days came to an end in the city of Khartoum. As an army of Islamic militants rushed into the besieged Sudanese capital, British General Charles “Chinese” Gordon dressed himself in his formal uniform and walked out of his apartment in the palace.