Dennis was undoubtedly antisemitic - "I am no friend of the Jews," he once wrote - but his antisemitism was no more pronounced than that of most Wasps in the US at the time and less severe than that of the Nazis. "Hitler says the Jew cannot be a citizen of Germany. I consider that position to be unsound nationalism," he said. "As for any persecution or organized violence against Jews in this country, I consider it unthinkable."
Not surprisingly, perhaps, his racial politics were the most peculiar. He kept company with some of the most extreme white supremacists of his day, but despite the views of most of his friends and backers, Dennis managed both to champion fascism and subtly to maintain a distance from racist polemic.
While in Berlin, he asked Karl Boemer of Hitler's Propaganda Ministry: "Why don't you treat the Jews more or less as we treat the Negroes in America? You can practice discrimination and all that, but be a little hypocritical and moderate and do not get in conflict with American opinion." As the years went on he opposed segregation, branding the "the case against integration in the schools" as one "based on odious comparisons".
The prescience of Lawrence Dennis was a constant throughout his extraordinary career, he predicted the Vietnam War in 1950 - before the outbreak of the Korean War. And although Appeal To Reason never had more than 900 subscribers, they included some of the greatest exemplars of the struggle to come after him, such as Harry Elmer Barnes, the father of modern revisionism, and Willis Carto, the founder of Liberty Lobby who has been in the forefront of the revival of classical progressivism ever since the disgrace marked by the Great Sedition Trial.
Great story, scooped by Dave Chappelle in his first season, of course...
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