Whittaker Chambers's Odyssey from Communist Spy to Conservative Hero
by Matthew Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell
Praised by the right and loathed by the left, Whittaker Chambers entered the public eye when he accused State Department worker Alger Hiss of being a Communist. But his story before and after reveals much more about the political history of midcentury America.
When McCarthyism Hit Small-Town Vermont
by Rick Winston
The events that roiled one small town in 1950 showed the courage and integrity of newspaper editors who resisted a "red scare" but also the harm inflicted on a community by weaponized suspicion.
SOURCE: The New Republic
How the Government Used the First World War to Crush the American Left
Adam Hochshild's book details the intersection of patriotism and legal repression that stifled the broad left in the United States, and explains how the war to "make the world safe for democracy" evinced an impoverished understanding of the term.
SOURCE: Law and Political Economy Project
Economism as a Red Scare Legacy
by Landon Storrs
An economic historian traces the rise of neoliberal political economy to the post-WWII Red Scare, when Keynesians were driven out of government service under suspicion of disloyalty.
SOURCE: Hollywood Reporter
Blacklisted Actress Marsha Hunt Dies at 104
Hunt's participation in the Committee for the First Amendment, which questioned the activities of the House Unamerican Activities Committee in 1947, led to her blacklisting.
SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
Law Enforcement Has Long Practiced Double Standards for Activists
by Denise Lynn
Nobody should be shocked that the FBI has aggressively surveilled Black Lives Matter organizers while deciding that the online organizing of the January 6 attack on the Capitol was protected speech; this double standard has characterized law enforcement's approach to racial justice protest.
SOURCE: New York Review of Books
What the FBI Had on Grandpa
by Molly Jong-Fast
"I never considered my grandfather to be a danger to the republic, but J. Edgar Hoover disagreed." The FBI surveilled writer Howard Fast extensively, though, as he wrote in his autobiography, "the eleven hundred pages detailed every—or almost every—decent act I had performed in my life."
SOURCE: Mother Jones
The Dossier That Destroyed Frank Wilkinson’s Dream of Public Housing in LA
by Eric Nusbaum
Frank Wilkinson's advocacy for racially integrated public housing in Los Angeles set off a red-baiting campaign that landed him in prison.
When “Fake News” Was Banned: An America Trump Might Have Loved
by Adam Hochschild
Exactly 100 years ago, this country’s media was laboring under the kind of official censorship that would undoubtedly thrill both Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo.
How Eisenhower Secretly Pushed Back Against McCarthyism
To the end of his life, David A. Nichols says, “Eisenhower never admitted that the White House was behind this.” Yet he couldn’t help but gloat a bit in private. On at least one occasion, he reportedly repeated a joke that “it’s no longer McCarthyism, it’s McCarthywasm.”
New PBS Documentary "McCarthy" Highlights a Tumultuous Time in Our History
by Julia Brown
Director Sharon Grimberg discusses her new documentary "McCarthy," premiering on American Experience January 6, 2020.
SOURCE: New Yorker
When America Tried to Deport Its Radicals
by Adam Hochschild
A hundred years ago, the Palmer Raids imperilled thousands of immigrants. Then a wily official got in the way.
A Family History of the Red Scare
by David L. O'Connor
A review of David Maraniss' A Good American Family: My Father and the Red Scare.
The Red Scare: From the Palmer Raids to Joseph McCarthy to Donald Trump
by Ronald L. Feinman
Trump has learned very well from prior anti-Communism crusaders, and it requires vigilance and activism to cope with the threat he represents every day.
Historians Nathan Connolly and Ed Ayers Give A History Of "Socialism" As A Scare Tactic In American Politics
“Before it really became a dirty word, it became a very popular word."
Historian Kathryn Olmstead on The Long History of the Red Scare as an American Political Tactic
"It had such a broad and long-lasting impact on American politics that it’s just impossible to overstate."
SOURCE: The Conversation
Lessons from White House disinformation a century ago: ‘It’s dangerous to believe your own propaganda’
by John Maxwell Hamilton andMeghan Menard McCune
One hundred years ago, the U.S. government published documents that fueled the mounting Red Scare, helped justify the American military invasion of Russia and poisoned American-Russian relations for years to come.
Review of “Antiwar Dissent and Peace Action in World War I America,” Edited by Scott H. Bennett and Charles F. Howlett
by Murray Polner
Every generation needs to be reminded of and taught the heavy price exacted by war.
The Case for Sparing the Rosenbergs
by Lori Clune
Credit: Wiki Commons.Sixty years ago this week, Ethel Rosenberg was strapped into the same electric chair that killed her husband Julius moments before. Her gruesome death ended the spy case that captured worldwide attention. Julius Rosenberg had been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit espionage, specifically passing atomic bomb secrets to the Soviets.FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had also ordered the arrest of Julius’ wife Ethel, hoping to use her as a “lever” to get Julius to name other spies. He never spoke. They both died instead.The grisly executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953 made their sons orphans and shocked the world. The Rosenbergs remain the only married couple executed for a federal crime and the only civilians killed for spying.
Philip Jenkins: Joe McCarthy Was No Witch Hunter
Philip Jenkins is a Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University and a columnist for RealClearReligion. His latest book is Laying Down the Sword.Language speaks us. Much as I hate quoting that post-modern cliché, it captures the truth that certain words and phrases become so deeply inlaid in our everyday conversation that we are scarcely able to realize their ideological slant.As a prime example, I offer the wave of investigations that the United States and other countries undertook into Communist subversion and espionage in the Cold War years. Well, that description is a little wordy, so let's just use the convenient short-hand that has become so standard: the McCarthy witch hunts....Real witches, by definition, did not exist....
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