Cynthia Crossen on Anarchists

From a piece by Cynthia Crossen, "Muddling Throught ... From Air Raids to Anarchists ..." - Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2001 page B1 ....

There were early equivalents of foreign terrorists, too-anarchists, who believed all government was a hindrance to peace and equality. Fanatical, mobile and willing to die for their cause, the anarchists believed in "propaganda by the deed." That translated into bombs in theaters and cafes, assassinations, arson. Newspapers and magazines were filled with accounts of their bloody attacks, whipping up an almost hysterical fear in some cities. In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt, whose predecessor, William McKinley, had been killed by an anarchist, declared that "anarchism is a crime against the whole human race, and all mankind should band against the anarchists."

Email sent to: - 25-Nov-2001

The article paints anarchists one dimensionally as violent terrorists. Not all "anarchists" expoused "propaganda by the deed." What is missing is the anarchists contribution to today's culture. Just a few examples - the 40 hour workweek was fought for by anarchists. Famous anarchists included Emma Goldman and Roger Baldwin, one of the founders of the ACLU. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was part of the group fighting for the rights of women to control their own reproductive system against state control. Today, Noam Chomsky talks of anarchism and the importance of questioning the legitimacy of state institutions - all at the core of anarchist thinking. I suggest that you do more research on anarchy and anarchists before you continue to show your ignorance of anarchists in your public writing. The Internet provides a wealth of information about the historical traditions of anarchism ... See: A Quick Guide to Anarchy for Journalists

No reply recieved as of 29-Nov-2001

What do others think? Add comments here.


Writing by Cynthia Crossen online ...

A gardening stores these days, you can buy a Taco Supreme iris, a Macho Man rose, an Abba Dabba Do hosta, a Primal Scream day lily or a Kung Fu dahlia. Over in the vegetable section, there might be a Fooled You jalapeno pepper (not hot), a Straight "n' Narrow bean, an Incredible Hulk pepper, a Money Maker tomato and Bodacious corn. ... naming rites By Cynthia Crossen

Article Reprint: The Wall Street Journal on Learning Disability Studies Suggest Phonics Helps Children Learning to Read by Cynthia Crossen, Wall Street Journal 05/16/97
Medical Researcher Pays For Doubting Industry Claim By Cynthia Crossen Wall Street Journal, January 3, 2001

Info about Cynthia Crossen found on the web ...

I find I'm still appalled at Cynthia Crossen's article in the Wall Street Journal (7/13) about Oprah Winfrey's selections for the Oprah Book Club. Holt Uncensored #254:: by Pat Holt 07/31/01

Trashes Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser ... the complete review

In a March 7 book review of Our Stolen Future, the Wall Street Journal reporter Cynthia Crossen refers to the "1989 Alar-on-apples uproar that practically destroyed the reputation of apples as good food using questionable scientific evidence." - The Alar "Scare" Was for Real, by Elliot Negin, Columbia Journalism Review, September/October 1996

In May of 1998, Landmark College was featured in the Wall Street Journal article, "Colleges Court Students With Learning Disabilities," by Cynthia Crossen.

"Read them and weep" is the broad characterization of the 43 books that comprise Oprah's Book Club in this new assessment from Cynthia Crossen in the WSJournal. "As a body of literature, they portray the modern world as unrelentingly treacherous and joyless, the antithesis of Garrison Keillor's fictional Lake Wobegon…. The citizens of Oprah's world are some of the saddest sacks you'll ever meet in fact or fiction…. If you believed Oprah's books realistically depicted contemporary life, you would have to kill yourself, especially if you're female." Of course the recurring theme of oppressed heroines breaking free to imperfect independence has been covered before; Crossen also observes that "no dictionary is required for most of these works, nor is an appreciation for ambiguity or abstract ideas. The biggest literacy challenge of some Oprah books is their length. "I Know This Much Is True" is 901 pages; "Songs in Ordinary Time," 740 pages; "We Were the Mulvaneys," 454 pages. It seems a shame that people who are moved to read a book on Oprah's recommendation don't get the benefit of judicious editing." But the editors certainly get the benefit of having acquired an Oprah selection…Cry the Beloved Oprah []

James Gleick says that Cynthia Crossen is his wife and live in the Hudson Valley of New York.
James Gleick
Long and Winding Rd.
Garrison, NY 10524 US
Phone: 212-813-0677


Tainted Truth: the Manipulation of Fact in America by Cynthia Crossen, Simon and Shuster 1994.

The Rich And How They Got That Way By Cynthia Crossen Publisher: Crown Publishing Group Pub. Date: 2000 ISBN: 0812932676

Table of Contents

The Wealthy Then and Now
When Thieves Were Kings - Machmud of Ghazni
The Raider Who Came to Stay - Genghis Khan
The Man in the Middle - Mansa Musa
Ungodley Rich - Pope Alexander VI
Money Begets Money - Jacob Fugger
Dreamers Gamblers and Suckers - John Law
Men and Machines - Richard Arkwright
Addicted to Trade - Howqua
Outmanning the Men - Hetty Green
The $100 Billion Man - Bill Gates


Add/View Comments