MATTHEW SHEFFIELD (Editor, NewsBusters.org): I think the main thing about your book is that it’s revisionist. Would you agree with that statement?
JONAH GOLDBERG (Author, “Liberal Fascism”): Yeah, I mean obviously revisionist is one of those words that has all sorts of different connotations to it but I like to think that it’s revisionist in the best sense of the word that the official history needs to be revised. And that’s what I’ve tried to do and so I’m OK with the word revisionist.
But it’s funny, some of the criticisms of the book have been that I’ve left out sort of this or that conventional, clichéd historical narrative and I’ve tried to point out to people that the subtitle of the book is the “Secret History of the American Left,” not the “Well-trod and Clichéd History of the American Left.” Yeah, I’m OK with the word revision.
SHEFFIELD: I figured you would be but it’s such a word that bears a similar connotation to fascism maybe in the sense that it’s highly charged and people often don’t know what it means.
GOLDBERG: Yeah, although in Israel the revisionist historians are left-wingers and in the United States in the 1960s all those guys like William Attenman-Williams [ph], revisionism was a good word. Now, it’s taken on this pejorative because the left has control of the academic establishment that revisionism from the right is seen as evil and illegitimate but back in the day, the revisionists were the heroes.