In This Review

West European Communism And American Foreign Policy
West European Communism And American Foreign Policy
By Michael Ledeen
Transaction Books, 1988, 310 pp

A misleading title for a book that focuses primarily on American attitudes toward the Italian Communist Party (PCI) from wartime assessments to the early 1980s, with particular emphasis on American judgments on Eurocommunism. Based on published sources and interviews with people who often demanded anonymity, the book is full of damaging, unsubstantiated remarks-about the relations of the PCI to the Red Brigades, for instance-including this allegation apparently concerning the Aldo Moro kidnapping: "and on at least one occasion, [Enrico] Berlinguer learned something quite interesting about the Red Brigades, but failed to communicate it to Italian authorities." The book offers some shrewd observations, but reads like a concealed polemic against the American intellectual establishment and its "remarkably uncritical treatment" of Eurocommunism-a characterization Ledeen substantiates by relating that, when Berlinguer aide Sergio Segre was denied a visa in 1976, "members of the Council on Foreign Relations, along with Kissinger's former colleagues at Harvard University, roundly denounced the action . . . . " All members of the Council? All colleagues at Harvard? The hero of the book is Henry Kissinger, whose version of realpolitik deserves a better assessment than this flawed work.