Blacklisted by History

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Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies, is a 2007 book by author M. Stanton Evans, who asserts that Joseph McCarthy was proper in making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason within the US State Department and the US Army, showing proper regard for evidence (during a period in the late 1940s and 1950s known as McCarthyism or the second Red Scare).

Summary[edit]

The book claims that a vast Soviet conspiracy infiltrated the Roosevelt and Truman administrations to create a foreign policy that advances the spread of world Communism, including the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe and the fall of Nationalist China, which McCarthy exposed, only to have his efforts undermined by political opponents with a vested interest in allowing the conspiracy to continue.[1][2]

Reviews[edit]

Ronald Radosh, a historian and expert on the Cold War spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, states that "rather than a biography, Evans has written a defense counsel’s brief for his client, whom he seeks to defend against all the slanders made about McCarthy by his political enemies." He praises Evans' "extensive research", and his exposure of the political agendas of McCarthy's main opponents and their unwillingness to look more closely into Soviet penetration. He also commends Evans for correcting the view that all of McCarthy's victims were innocent. Radosh severely criticises McCarthy's failure to distinguish between communists and anti-communist liberals, and between those expressing communist views and those working as Soviet agents, and criticises Evans for glossing over this. Radosh concludes:[3]

Evans’s book falls far short of what it might have done to correct the record about the era. His own exaggerations and unwarranted leaps parallel those made by McCarthy. It is unlikely that his hope to change history’s verdict will become a reality as a result of the publication of this book.

Reviewing the book for The New York Times, Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian David Oshinsky was harshly critical, calling Evans' primary thesis a "remarkable fantasy," asserting that Evans has uncovered no fresh evidence and arguing that the evidence supports the historical consensus that Communist spy networks in the United States had largely been dismantled by the time McCarthy started his campaign and that McCarthy was "a bit player in the battle against Communist subversion, a latecomer who turned a vital crusade into a political mud bath... The fiercely negative judgments of those who lived through the McCarthy era are widely accepted today for good reason: they ring true."[1]

Kirkus Reviews called the book "[a] revisionist biography", which although a "detailed account" is "marred by ideological blinders" and fit "[f]or true believers only",[2] Publishers Weekly describing Evans as "given to conspiracy thinking"[4] and Reason magazine describing it as "revisionist" and "a breathless defense of McCarthy."[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b David Oshinsky (2007-01-27). "In the Heart of the Heart of Conspiracy". New York Times. "This remarkable fantasy, playing upon the deepest fears of right-wing Republicans, ignores the actual United States foreign policy that gave billions of dollars in aid to Chiang, fought a brutal war in Korea against two Communist nations, propped up an anti-Communist regime in Vietnam at the cost of 58,000 American lives and refused for three decades to recognize the government of Mao. Most historians today view the “loss” of China for what it was: a futile American attempt to aid a corrupt and unpopular regime. And most see Truman — the key bogeyman of the McCarthyites — as a tough anti-Communist who protected constitutional liberties at home and American interests abroad." 
  2. ^ a b "Kirkus Reviews:BLACKLISTED BY HISTORY". Kirkus Reviews. 2007-08-15. Retrieved 2012-01-12. "A detailed account of McCarthy and of the CPUSA marred by ideological blinders. For true believers only." 
  3. ^ Radosh, Ronald (5 December 2007). "The Enemy Within". National Review Online. Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  4. ^ "Nonfiction Review - Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy". Publishers Weekly. 2007-09-17. 
  5. ^ Michael C. Moynihan (2010-07-10). "Beck U : The excitable Fox News host goes to college". Reason. 

External links[edit]