At times Truman comes across as an instigator of red-baiting and at others the great protector of civil liberties. Along the way, we meet the familiar figures of the period--Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower, the young Richard Nixon, and, of course, the Wisconsin Senator Joseph R. But, then again, Edward R. This work promises to bring the McCarthy era into perspective and does so admirably. But more importantly, Fried also shows us how thousands of ordinary people--from teachers and lawyers to college students, factory workers, and janitors--were affected by McCarthyism. His power to intimidate vanished overnight and the Red Scare phenomenon lost some of its dynamic.
The legacy of McCarthyism reverberated throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s. There was genuine fear of the Communist threat and unwelcome social change. Fried avoids claiming Hiss was actually guilty or innocent, claiming only that his accuser, Whittaker Chambers, was not the most reliable witness. As Fried notes, even those liberals who questioned the validity of the anticommunist zeal were caught up in the paranoia in order to maintain their political legitimacy. This wide-ranging study provides a highly original account of the impact of anti-communism in mid-century American politics and culture.
His arguments are clear and stimulating, and are convincingly validated by his explanations and evidence. As was the case in 1950 to disagree was to risk political and social stigmatism. About the Author: Richard M. Edgar Hoover to root out disloyal elements in American government and society in the late 1930s and ea. The author covers in some detail the mindset, actions, effects, and pervasiveness of anti-communism in our governments, especially at the federal level, and in the greater society. Together with coverage of such famous incidents as the ordeal of the Hollywood Ten which led to the entertainment world's notorious blacklist and the Alger Hiss case, Fried also portrays a wealth of little-known but telling episodes involving victims and victimizers of anti-communist politics at the state and local levels.
But more importantly, Fried reveals the wholesale effect of McCarthyism on the lives of thousands of ordinary people, from teachers and lawyers to college students, factory workers, and janitors. Providing the most rounded history of the rise and fall of the phenomenon we call McCarthyism, Nightmare in Red extends back into the 1930s and forward past McCarthy's censure, revealing the roots of McCarthyism as well as traces of it that remain today. Though his analysis would benefit from incorporating subsequent archival discoveries following the end of the Cold War, this is nonetheless an excellent place to start for anyone interested in learning about the origins and events of this dramatic period in American history. By 1953 Joe McCarthy began to overreach. Even though McCarthyism was a reaction to the New Deal, its origins can be traced back to the 1930s—long before Senator Joe McCarthy found the winning combination of patriotism and capitalism.
Contentions that national security justified such excess are simplistic at best, ignoring the costs to the national culture. Like many other politicians, McCarthy found in the anticommunist issue a goldmine. Nightmare in Red: The World of Joe McCarthy. Fried Author: Richard M Fried Author: Richard M. He is author of Men Against McCarthy.
Fried, however, also documents the more sweeping and less public effects of McCarthyism on thousands of people, from teachers and lawyers to washroom attendants forced to take loyalty tests. In 1934 the House of Representatives launched a series of probes against New Dealers. He spends almost a quarter of the book discussing how the Red Scare impacted artists and actors. These developments grew out of the broad anxiety over communism which characterized the McCarthy era. After the War, anti-Russian sentiments ratcheted up considerably.
But forty years ago, Americans were experiencing the beginnings of another era--of the fevered anti-communism that came to be known as McCarthyism. There, Democrat Pat McCarran became obsessed with showing, ultimately unsuccessfully, that China Hand, Owen Lattimore, was a tool of the Communists. Providing the most rounded history of the rise and fall of the phenomenon we call McCarthyism, Nightmare in Red extends back into the 1930s and forward past McCarthy's censure, revealing the roots of McCarthyism as well as traces of it that remain today. It would take the appointment of Chief Justice Earl Warren to the Supreme Court to put an end to the hysteria. Some of these items went before the jury then hearing the Hiss slander case. The business community pushed for the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947 that forced union officers to file yearly affidavits disavowing connections with Communism to remain covered by labor laws.
Bibliography note Includes bibliographical references pages 223-229 and index. Fried teaches history at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Truman issued Executive Order 9835 establishing a loyalty-security program for all federal employees. Everything from Modern Art to Hollywood was assailed as being pro-Soviet. Someone is quoted as saying that Joe McCarthy wouldn't know a communist from a street sweeper.
Indeed, it appeared to be the goal of much of the hearings to embarrass rather than prove guilt. What does that say about our democracy? This proved to be a fateful decision. Nightmare in Red discusses the background of the Red Scare in the 1950s, placing it in the context of the American political and cultural scene at that time. Read this for a grad course. This will be a supplementary required book.
Richard Fried's Nightmare in Red offers a riveting and comprehensive account of this crucial time. His defiance toward the Senate concerning his accusations of Army disloyalty earned him a formal censure from his fellow Senators in Dec, 1954. The author captures that the McCarthy era was highly complex. According to Fried, McCarthy followed political trends and his red-baiting was little more than mainstream partisan politics Ribuffo 405. The hero who emerges at the end, the one who did more to reverse the course of a decade of oppression, turns out to be Chief Justice Earl Warren.