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DISPUTATIONS: Explaining Sins Away

Responding to Victor Navasky on the Rosenbergs.

Anne Applebaum does a fine job at pointing out the disingenuousness of Victor Navasky's letter. The man simply can't bring himself to admit the extent of American spying for the Soviets--and both the moral and political implications of that crime. Is that pathological? Well, further definitive evidence arrives confirming that the Rosenbergs ran a spy ring on behalf of a mortal enemy of this country and he's still explaining away their sins--"these guys thought they were helping our ally in wartime." As for the charge that I'm somehow ducking him: Anybody who has read my work knows that avoidance of confrontation is hardly one of my defining traits. Lastly, he trumpets the Nation's circulation. I didn't know that he regarded the marketplace as a validation of intellectual quality. Regardless, I congratulate his direct mail department.

Marty Peretz is the editor-in-chief of The New Republic.

Click here to read the letter from Victor Navasky.

Click here to read the response from Anne Applebaum.