So, I'm writing this review, and struggling with an evidentiary issue which my fellow bloggers and readers should enjoy thoroughly. The author supplements his other sources -- which include oral history interviews and questionnaires -- with fictional accounts by a participant in the events. Not a lot (three in three hundred pages), and the writing is clearly rooted in firsthand observations and experiences (and it's pretty straightforward fiction, too: no 'magical realism' or postmodern irrelevancies). There's no confusion: the fiction is clearly identified as such, though there's no evidence from the text that the author asked the writer to elaborate on the historicity or imaginativeness of the stories. But there's no qualification in the text, either: he doesn't say"this is fiction, so take it with a grain of salt"; rather, it is presented as a more honest and full account than the sometimes constrained interviews.
Is this a flaw? Is this an example of innovative and creative history writing that should be lauded? Is it different because this is a book largely based on direct testimony of the same people who wrote the fictionalized accounts?
Who brought Joe McCarthy down in the end? Not somebody playing “dirty”, down in the same gutter with McCarthy, but someone who waited for their moment and caught McCarthy in a decency trap, who revealed the man’s fundamental unfairness and viciousness in part by being scrupulously decent themselves. How did Archibald Cox defeat Richard Nixon? By walking the straight and narrow. Being decent and fair and meticulous isn’t intellectual wankery: it’s hardball.Yeah.