Magazine February 23, 2009, Issue

A Small Tent

Tourists view the Hollywood sign from Hollywood Boulevard. (Mike Blake/Reuters)
Blacklisting Myself: Memoir of a Hollywood Apostate in the Age of Terror, Roger L. Simon (Encounter,250 pp., $25.95)

The question Roger Simon seeks to answer in his unsparing, alternately funny and sad but always fascinating second-thoughts memoir is: Why did he change from an idealistic Hollywood leftist to a person who ended up voting for George W. Bush? How, Simon asks, did he come to have the improbable distinction of being “favorably profiled by both Mother Jones and National Review?”

During the tumultuous 1960s, the aspiring screenwriter and novelist was a young man with a left-wing political bent. Migrating to Hollywood after attending Dartmouth, he would sit by a dilapidated old pool near the apartment he was renting, reading

Ronald Radosh — Mr. Radosh, an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute and a contributing opinion columnist at the Daily Beast, is a co-author of Spain Betrayed: The Soviet Union in the Spanish Civil War and the author of Commies: A Journey through the Old Left, the New Left and the Leftover Left.

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