Thursday, December 10, 2009

Andrew Klavan: My Way Into and Out of the Left – by Jamie Glazov

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Andrew Klavan, the author of such internationally bestselling crime novels as True Crime, filmed by Clint Eastwood, and Don’t Say A Word, filmed starring Michael Douglas. He has been nominated for the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award five times and has won twice. His last novel for adults, Empire of Lies, topped’s thriller list. His new novel series for young adults continues in February with The Long Way Home. Andrew is a contributing editor to City Journal, the magazine of the Manhattan Institute. His essays on politics, religion, movies and literature have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, The Washington Post, the LA Times, and elsewhere. As a screenwriter, he wrote the screenplays for 1990’s A Shock to the System, starring Michael Caine, and 2008’s One Missed Call. His Klavan on the Culture videos appear at His website is

FP: Andrew Klavan, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

I’d like to talk to you today about your journey into and out of the Left.

How did you at first become a member of the political faith? Tell us about the beginnings of your intellectual journey.

Klavan: Well, I was always a dissatisfied liberal. I just never knew there was anything else to be. I was born Jewish to a mother who worshipped FDR and a father who thought that any Republican victory prefigured the return of Adolf Hitler. That’s not an exaggeration: he thought Republicans were all just Hitler in disguise. So going from that family into the arts, where everyone mouths this elitist, pseudo-sophisticated left-wing bushwa without any real understanding of the underlying issues: leftism was simply the water I swam in. Conservatives were the bad guys. Everyone knew that.

FP: So how did your second thoughts begin? Tell us about your journey out of the Left.

Klavan: It was an experience that very much mirrored the pattern of the famous paradigm shift described in Thomas Kuhn’s “Structure of Scientific Revolutions.” Anomalies started to occur, things that didn’t fit into what I thought of as a “liberal” world view. The Bakke case, in which the Supreme Court supported affirmative action – that was a big one: I thought it was a clear sign that the left – my side – had signed on to racism. Feminism, political correctness, the disaster of welfare, the appeasement of the Soviet Union – I kept saying, “Well, that’s no good,” but I thought they were anomalies. I still didn’t realize there was an alternative philosophy that described the world more accurately. Then the Berlin Wall fell down – everything Reagan predicted – stupid Reagan, cowboy Reagan, dumb old movie actor Reagan – every single thing he said would happen, happened. And it finally began to dawn on me, “Oh, I get it: it’s not this and this and this that’s wrong. It’s ALL wrong.” And I started the long, difficult process of changing my mind.

Read it all here: