This is a good article. Click here for more information.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Anti-intellectualism is the principal feature of American anti–Communist propaganda of the 1950s, especially the social commentary of radio-program writers, playwrights, and screenplay writers, the politically vulnerable members of the intelligentsia.

In U.S. history, the term McCarthyism describes two practices of demagoguery: (i) making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence;[1] and (ii) “the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism.”[2]

As a political-science term, McCarthyism originated during the Second Red Scare (1947–57), which was a period of active political repression against communists; of fear mongering about Left wing influence (communist, socialist, progressive) upon the institutions of American society; and claims of Soviet espionage in government, academia, and business. The original usage of McCarthyism criticized the unethical nature and means of the Anti–Communist pursuits of U.S. Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, Republican for Wisconsin (1947–57), as the social-control tactics of a police state. The contemporary usage of the term McCarthyism describes the accuser’s reckless, unsubstantiated accusations and demagogic attacks, such as character assassination and impugning the patriotism of the citizen accused of ideological infidelity, of being politically incorrect.

During the political witch hunts of the seven-year McCarthy era (1950–57), thousands of Americans were anonymously and secretly accused either of being a Communist or of being a Fellow traveller, someone philosophically sympathetic to Communism. As such, those men and women were subjected to aggressive investigations and interrogations about their political loyalty to the U.S., by government committees and by private-business agencies who sought to eliminate political subversion. The people most suspected of ideological infidelity were government employees (federal, state, local), entertainers (writers, musicians, actors), the intelligentsia, academics (professors, teachers, instructors), and trade union leaders and activists.

According to the perceived magnitude of the political threat posed by the person’s real and supposed Left-wing beliefs, practices, and associations (past and present), hearsay evidence was given credence as fact, despite inconclusive, questionable, or absent proof. In consequence, most of the men and women falsely accused of being politically subversive lost their jobs and were secretly registered to a blacklist within their professions and occupations, and thus had their careers destroyed, while others were imprisoned, by way of un–Constitutional and ideologic legalisms, such as pro forma political-trial verdicts,[3] loyalty-oath laws,[4] and illegal dismissal from employment for being un–American.[5][6]

Notable examples of the undemocratic social control that is McCarthyism include the existence of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (SPSI), itself; the politically inflammatory and anti-intellectual speeches and hearings of Senator J. R. McCarthy; the Hollywood blacklist of entertainers, an ideological persecution by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC); and the political police activities of the FBI and of the Director, J. Edgar Hoover (1935–72), in effort to rid the U.S. of leftist radicals, communists, and fellow travellers.

Historical background[edit]

The First Red Scare (1917–20) was stage-managed by the U.S. Attorney General, Alexander Mitchell Palmer, in effort to rid the U.S. of Leftist radicals, Communists, and Socialists.
The Soviet spy Elizabeth Bentley (1948) defected to the U.S. and uncovered two Soviet espionage networks; the law arrested some 80 American Communists.
The Second Red Scare (1947–57) gave the politician Joseph McCarthy a political raison d’être, which justified his career as a U.S. senator (1947–57).
The term “McCarthyism” was coined in the editorial cartoon You mean I'm supposed to stand on that?, by Herblock. (Washington Post newspaper, 29 March 1950)

The seven-year McCarthy era (1950–57) was the continuation of the First Red Scare (1917–20), which rid the U.S., of “Leftist radicals” (anarchists, communists, socialists, et al.), by way of the Palmer raids (Nov. 1919 – Jan. 1920), which U.S. Attorney General Alexander Mitchell Palmer realized soon after the First World War (1914–18). Such aggressive anti-communism occurred because Communism was the politically viable social-force that successfully organized American workers into labor unions, during the Great Economic Depression of the 1930s, and actively opposed fascism (e.g. Spanish Civil War, 1936–39) during the twenty-one-year period (1918–39) between the world wars, consequently, membership to the American Communist Party (CPUSA) increased to 75,000 members in the 1940–41 biennium.[7]

During the Second World War (1939–45), the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. entered a military alliance of necessity to fight fascism, therefore, anti-communism and anti-capitalism became politically unimportant until after the war; and, at War’s end in 1945, the erstwhile Allies resumed ideological hostilities with the Russo–American Cold War (1945–91). In that vein, the Russians installed Communist puppet régimes in the Eastern European and East Asian countries from which they had vanquished the armies of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, whilst the Americans sponsored European and Asian anti-communist forces in the Greek Civil War (1946–49) and in the Chinese Civil War (1927–36; 1946–50).

Communist perfidy[edit]

In the post–War U.S., the wartime espionage crises of Igor Gouzenko (nuclear-secret theft and sleeper-agent installation in Canada) and of Elizabeth Bentley (Soviet defector who betrayed communist espionage networks in the U.S.) had demonstrated that the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. were and remained ideological antagonists — especially in light of the American participation in the Allied intervention to the Russian Civil War (1918–25), which meant to overthrow the Bolshevik government.

Therefore, during the 1948–50 period, the Berlin Blockade (June 1948– May 1949), the Stalinization of Eastern Europe; the U.S.S.R.’s achieving nuclear-superpower status (August 1949); and the victory of Mao Zedong in the Chinese Civil War, which established the People’s Republic of China (October 1949), were events that the U.S. perceived as geopolitical indications that Communism was a threat (ideologic, military, economic) to American society.

Further aggravating that anti-communist moral panic, was the Korean War (1950–53) — a U.S. v. U.S.S.R. proxy war — which featured third-party military intervention by “Red China” (People’s Republic of China); and threatened escalation from Asian proxy-war to Russo–American sponsor-war. The people and government of the U.S. perceived those foreign-country events as confirmation of the existence of an International Communist Conspiracy against the Western world, especially against the U.S., which realms were considered one-and-the-same in the worldview of McCarthyism. (See: World revolution)

In January 1950, Alger Hiss, a high officer in the U.S. State Department, was convicted of perjury to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). To the public, Hiss was effectively guilty of spying for the U.S.S.R. Although the statute of limitations had expired for that crime of wartime espionage, Hiss was convicted of perjury when he denied the charge of being a Soviet spy, in an earlier interrogation by the HUAC. In Great Britain, the scientist Klaus Fuchs confessed to being a Soviet spy during his wartime employment in the Manhattan Project (1942–46), at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico. In the U.S., Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were arrested and charged, tried and found guilty of stealing atomic-bomb secrets for the U.S.S.R., and then put to death in 1953.

The American social temper[edit]

In American politics of the 1950s, the rise and acceptance of McCarthyism was encouraged by the right-wing ideological practice of always equating progressive reforms — such as child-labor laws, women's suffrage, and racial equality — as Communist plots to control the government, the economy, and the society of the United States.[8]

Two decades earlier, in the 1930s, that ideological stance became active political reaction against the anti-poverty and social welfare programs of the New Deal (1933–38) policies of the Roosevelt Administration (1933–45). In that ideological context, the American right-wing equated the socio-economic reforms of the New Deal with Socialism and Communism, and saw the President’s progressive decisions as proof that Communists had infiltrated the policy-making offices of the Roosevelt Administration.[9] (See: The Paranoid Style in American Politics, 1964)

The politician[edit]

Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy's involvement with the Red Scare, a recurrent, cultural phenomenon of the United States, began with a speech he gave to the Republican Women's Club of Wheeling, West Virginia, on Lincoln Day, 9 February 1950. In the course of his speech, Sen. McCarthy produced and displayed a sheet of paper, which, he claimed, listed the names of men and women, known to be Communists, who worked in the U.S. State Department:

I have here in my hand a list of 205 — a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party, and who, nevertheless, are still working and shaping policy in the State Department.[10]

The term[edit]

The coinage and initial usage of the term McCarthyism was in the political cartoon titled You mean I'm supposed to stand on that?, by Herbert Block (Herblock), published in The Washington Post (29 March 1950). The cartoon depicts four Republican leaders pushing an elephant (the Republican Party) to stand on an ideological policy-platform mounted atop a teetering stack of ten tar buckets topped with a large tar-pot labelled McCarthyism.

About the political coinage, Herblock said that there was “nothing particularly ingenious about the term, which is simply used to represent a national affliction that can hardly be described in any other way. If anyone has a prior claim on it, he’s welcome to the word, and to the junior senator from Wisconsin, along with it. I will also throw in a free set of dishes and a case of soap.”[11]


In the U.S. Congress, the principal anti–Communist organizations wer the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS), and the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (SPSI); in the 1949–54 period, these and other congressional committees conducted 109 investigations of possible breaches of national security by way of political infidelity.[12]

Judicial Branch[edit]

U.S. Department of Justice

In 1942, the Department of Justice began spying upon and keeping records of organizations deemed politically subversive of the United States; the tracking of political activities first was published in 1948, when that blacklist included 78 organizations; in the event, the list grew to include 154 organizations, of which the FBI positively identified 110 as Communist organizations. In the context of a person’s loyalty review, his or her membership to an organization listed as “Communist” was meant to raise a question about the accused person’s political orientation; ostensibly, such membership was not to be considered proof of disloyalty to the nation. In fact, a common cause of suspecting someone of being a Communist was his or her membership to the Washington Bookshop Association, a Left-wing, cultural organization that offered lectures on literature, concerts of classical music, and discounted-price books.[13]

The Loyalty Order: First page of Executive Order 9835, signed by President Harry S. Truman, in 1947, to ensure the national loyalty of U.S. government employees.

Executive Branch[edit]

Loyalty reviews[edit]

In 1947, President Harry Truman signed into law Executive Order 9835 (22 March 1947), which initiated a program of national loyalty reviews for federal employees. The Loyalty Oath allowed for a government employee’s dismissal from federal employment if the reviewers of his or her nationalism found “reasonable grounds . . . for [the] belief that the person involved is disloyal to the Government of the United States”.[14] Yet, in order to avoid a political witch-hunt, Truman advised the Loyalty Review Board to restrict the political-police role of the FBI.[15]

Moreover, in addition to the U.S. national security, and in light of the Republican Party’s electoral majority in the 1946 Congressional election, President Truman, a Democrat, likely signed into law Executive Order 9835 in political defense of his Administration against right-wing accusations of insufficient anti–Communist fervor when dealing with the U.S.S.R., the P.R.C., North Korea, and other communist countries.[16]

Throughout the United States, in addition to state and local governments, many private companies in business and industry established loyalty-review agencies to ensure the political orthodoxy of citizens, employees, and workers; by 1958, approximately one of every five employees was required to pass either a government or a private review of his and her national loyalty to the U.S.[17] Moreover, when an accused person lost a job, for being politically incorrect, according to the loyalty review, he or she was blacklisted, and so rendered unemployable. In that case, said the civil-service Loyalty Review Board Chairman, Hiram Bingham III:

A man is ruined everywhere and forever . . . No responsible employer would be likely to take a chance in giving him a job.[18]

In 1953, when Dwight Eisenhower assumed the U.S. Presidency (1953–61), he toughened the loyalty-review program installed by President Truman; Eisenhower’s tougher anti-communism diminished the accused person’s legal rights and avenues for legally appealing his or her dismissal from federal employment. Hiram Bingham III, Chairman of the Civil Service Commission Loyalty Review Board, referred to the new rules he was obliged to enforce as “just not the American way of doing things.”[19] In 1954, the Oppenheimer security hearing voided the security clearance of J. Robert Oppenheimer, and he was fired from his job as a nuclear-physics consultant with the United States Atomic Energy Commission; despite having been the scientific director of the Manhattan Project (1942–46), which built the first atomic bomb, in the anti-intellectual McCarthy era, the left-wing politics of Dr. Oppenheimer were politically incorrect for the decade-long Second Red Scare.

Political police[edit]

The FBI of J. Edgar Hoover

In Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America, the historian Ellen Schrecker said that the political police funtion of the FBI was the most important component of the anti–Communist crusade of the American right wing. “Had observers known in the 1950s, what they have learned since the 1970s, when the Freedom of Information Act opened the Bureau’s files, McCarthyism would probably be called Hooverism.”[20]

For the Truman Administration, as director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover designed the security program for establishing, measuring, and certifying the national loyalty of U.S. government employees; and FBI agents would conduct the background investigations and requisite interrogations. To realize such a national-scope political project, the bureaucrat Hoover succeeded in enlarging the FBI and increasing the number of agents from 3,559, in 1946, to 7,029, in 1952. As an ideologue, Hoover's mis-perception of the magnitude of the “threat of Communism” allowed low standards-of-evidence; thus, hearsay-evidence (character assassination) resulted in the dismissal from employment of thousands of American citizens, in government, the academy, and business. As a policeman, Hoover insisted upon the anonymity of the FBI informers from whom the FBI gleaned political intelligence about the national loyalty of an American citizen. Hence, as in a police state, the man or the woman anonymously and secretly accused of being “un–American” was not allowed to face and cross-examine the accuser(s), nor to examine evidence substantiating the accusations.[21]

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, in 1961.

The FBI’s flouting of an accused person’s Constitutional legal-rights was feasible and possible for Hoover, because his political influence extended beyond the federal government and its employees, and beyond the scope of the loyalty and security programs. By statute, the records of loyalty-review hearings and investigations are confidential, but, as FBI Director, Hoover used them as sources from which to give political intelligence for anti-communist witch hunts, such as those of the HUAC.[22]

Domestic espionage — COINTELPRO

To gather anti-communist intelligence, the FBI flouted the law to enforce the law; from 1951 to 1955, with the secret Responsibilities Program, the FBI anonymously distributed evidence-documents, drawn from FBI files, about the personal politics of some American citizen, such as the past and present “Communist affiliations” of liberal and leftist teachers, lawyers, and other such members of the American intelligentsia; based upon anonymously submitted evidence, American citizens were fired from their jobs, without any legal recourse available to them.[23]

Against the American Communist Party (CPUSA), the FBI committed burglaries of their offices, intercepted, opened, read, and copied their mail, and tapped their telephone lines to record communist conversations.[24] Nevertheless, despite the FBI’s un–Constitutional police-control of political speech in the U.S., the attorneys of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) were among the few American attorneys willing to defend men and women accused of being un–American. Like the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), to FBI Director Hoover, the National Lawyers Guild was a communist-front organization; in the 1947–51 period, he ordered 14 burglaries of the NLG offices, to eavesdrop for legally-privileged attorney-client information with which to alert the federal government’s prosecutors about the legal-defense strategies of the NLG attorneys.[25]

The FBI infiltrated agents provocateur to promote violent action among the members of a Communist organization or any target organization, thereby allowing an overwhelming police attack. In 1956, as director of the FBI, Hoover was frustrated by Supreme Court decisions that limited the Justice Department's prosecutions of American Communists. To side-step the Court’s legal limitations of the FBI’s policing of American politics, Hoover established the COINTELPRO (1956–71), a counter-intelligence program for infiltrating secret agents to the liberal, Leftist, and progressive political organizations the FBI considered sympathetic to Communism.[24] For sixteen years, the COINTELPRO undermined the Constitutional rights of the liberal enemies of the state, by way of forged documents that discredited a party leader as an FBI spy; disseminated character-assassinating rumors in anonymous letters of denunciation; leaked such false information to right-wing journalists; filed false tax-evasion accusations to the Internal Revenue Service, et cetera.

House of Representatives[edit]


The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) was the principal and most active government committee investigating the Communist threat to the U.S. Since its beginning in 1938, as the Dies Committee, it had investigated the political activities of American Communists in the Federal Theatre Project (1935–39) of the Works Progress Administration. During the Second World War, the Dies Committee investigated the political activities of American Nazis (German American Bund). After the War, in 1948, as the HUAC, the committee successfully investigated Soviet espionage in the U.S. State Department, and presented formal charges of espionage against Alger Hiss, a high-level officer; ultimately, the investigation culminated in the espionage trial of Hiss, and later his conviction for perjury, for Hiss’s earlier denial of being a Communist and a Soviet spy.

In the McCarthy era, the HUAC investigated the cultural content of Hollywood movies. In November 1947, the Hollywood Ten await to be fingerprinted in the U.S. Marshal’s office after their citations for contempt of Congress. Front row (l – r): Herbert Biberman (screenwriter & director), attorneys Martin Popper and Robert W. Kenny, Albert Maltz, Lester Cole. Middle row: Dalton Trumbo (screenwriter & producer), John Howard Lawson, Alvah Bessie (screenwriter), Samuel Ornitz (screenwriter). Back row: Ring Lardner Jr. (screenwriter), Edward Dmytryk (director), and Adrian Scott (producer & screenwriter).

The HUAC achieved fame and notoriety when they investigated the Hollywood film business, from which was born the Hollywood Blacklist of suspected Communists and fellow travellers who controlled the content of American movies. In October 1947, in effort to rid Hollywood of Communist subversion, the HUAC issued subpoenas to screenplay writers, directors, and producers in order to to interrogate them about their politics, especially any connection to the American Communist Party. In the course of such loyalty reviews, the most common political question became: “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party of the United States?”[26]

Among film-industry witnesses subpoenaed to answer to the HUAC were the Hollywood Ten, film-makers who cited the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as their legal guarantee of free speech and free assembly, which protected them from legal compulsion to answer the HUAC’s questions about their personal politics. The HUAC dismissed the legal argument, and the Hollywood Ten were found in contempt of Congress, and were sentenced to imprisonment; two film-makers were sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, the other eight film-makers sentenced to a year’s imprisonment.

Fifth Amemendment Communist

In the future, any summoned witness who refused to cooperate with the HUAC would defend him or herself with the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which protected an American citizen against self-incrimination. Nonetheless, although that legal self-defense action thwarted a criminal citation for contempt of Congress, public opinion perceived it as a tacit admission of guilt, and, therefore, was political grounds for dismissal from employment in business, industry, and government. The legal protection of the Fifth Amendment disallowed a person to speak of his or her connection to the American Communist Party, and then refuse to give the names of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances connected to the Communists.[27] In the event, anyone summoned by the HUAC faced a political dilemma: either “crawl through the mud to be an informer”, as actor Larry Parks said, or become a “Fifth Amendment Communist” — an epithet often used by Senator McCarthy to diminish any uncowed citizen.[28]


In the Senate, the primary committee for investigating Communists was the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS), formed in 1950 and charged with ensuring the enforcement of laws relating to "espionage, sabotage, and the protection of the internal security of the United States." The SISS was headed by Democrat Pat McCarran and gained a reputation for careful and extensive investigations. This committee spent a year investigating Owen Lattimore and other members of the Institute of Pacific Relations. As had been done numerous times before, the collection of scholars and diplomats associated with Lattimore (the so-called China Hands) were accused of "losing China," and while some evidence of pro-communist attitudes was found, there was nothing to support McCarran's accusation that Lattimore was "a conscious and articulate instrument of the Soviet conspiracy". Lattimore was charged with perjuring himself before the SISS in 1952. After many of the charges were rejected by a Federal Judge and one of the witnesses confessed to perjury, the case was dropped in 1955.[29]

Joseph McCarthy himself headed the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in 1953 and 1954, and during that time used it for a number of his Communist-hunting investigations. McCarthy first examined allegations of Communist influence in the Voice of America, and then turned to the overseas library program of the State Department. Card catalogs of these libraries were searched for works by authors McCarthy deemed inappropriate. McCarthy then recited the list of supposedly pro-communist authors before his subcommittee and the press. Yielding to the pressure, the State Department ordered its overseas librarians to remove from their shelves "material by any controversial persons, Communists, fellow travelers, etc." Some libraries actually burned the newly forbidden books.[30]

McCarthy's committee then began an investigation into the United States Army. This began at the Army Signal Corps laboratory at Fort Monmouth. McCarthy garnered some headlines with stories of a dangerous spy ring among the Army researchers, but ultimately nothing came of this investigation.[31] McCarthy next turned his attention to the case of a U.S. Army dentist who had been promoted to the rank of major despite having refused to answer questions on an Army loyalty review form. McCarthy's handling of this investigation, including a series of insults directed at a brigadier general, led to the Army-McCarthy hearings, with the Army and McCarthy trading charges and counter-charges for 36 days before a nationwide television audience. While the official outcome of the hearings was inconclusive, this exposure of McCarthy to the American public resulted in a sharp decline in his popularity.[32] In less than a year, McCarthy was censured by the Senate and his position as a prominent force in anti-communism was essentially ended.[33]


In 1950, the magazine Red Channels,was a private loyalty-review business that claimed to document Communist influence in the content of radio and television programs.

On 25 November 1947 (the day after the House of Representatives approved citations of contempt for the Hollywood Ten), Eric Johnston, President of the Motion Picture Association of America, issued a press release on behalf of the heads of the major studios that came to be referred to as the Waldorf Statement. This statement announced the firing of the Hollywood Ten and stated: "We will not knowingly employ a Communist or a member of any party or group which advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States[...]" This marked the beginning of the Hollywood blacklist. In spite of the fact that hundreds would be denied employment, the studios, producers and other employers did not publicly admit that a blacklist existed.

At this time, private loyalty-review boards and anti-communist investigators began to appear to fill a growing demand among certain industries to certify that their employees were above reproach. Companies that were concerned about the sensitivity of their business, or who, like the entertainment industry, felt particularly vulnerable to public opinion made use of these private services. For a fee, these teams would investigate employees and question them about their politics and affiliations. At such hearings, the subject would usually not have a right to the presence of an attorney, and as with HUAC, the interviewee might be asked to defend himself against accusations without being allowed to cross-examine the accuser. These agencies would keep cross-referenced lists of leftist organizations, publications, rallies, charities and the like, as well as lists of individuals who were known or suspected communists. Books such as Red Channels and newsletters such as Counterattack and Confidential Information were published to keep track of communist and leftist organizations and individuals.[34] Insofar as the various blacklists of McCarthyism were actual physical lists, they were created and maintained by these private organizations.

Ant–Communist Laws[edit]

Efforts to protect the United States from the perceived threat of Communist subversion were particularly enabled by several federal laws. The Alien Registration Act or Smith Act of 1940 made it a criminal offense for anyone to "knowingly or willfully advocate, abet, advise or teach the [...] desirability or propriety of overthrowing the Government of the United States or of any State by force or violence, or for anyone to organize any association which teaches, advises or encourages such an overthrow, or for anyone to become a member of or to affiliate with any such association". Hundreds of Communists and others were prosecuted under this law between 1941 and 1957. Eleven leaders of the Communist Party were convicted under the Smith Act in 1949 in the Foley Square trial. Ten defendants were given sentences of five years and the eleventh was sentenced to three years. The defense attorneys were cited for contempt of court and given prison sentences.[35] In 1951, twenty-three other leaders of the party were indicted, including Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union. Many were convicted on the basis of testimony that was later admitted to be false.[36] By 1957, 140 leaders and members of the Communist Party had been charged under the law, of whom 93 were convicted.[37]

The McCarran Internal Security Act, which became law in 1950, has been described by scholar Ellen Schrecker as "the McCarthy era's only important piece of legislation"[38] (the Smith Act technically predated McCarthyism). However, the McCarran Act had no real effect beyond legal harassment. It required the registration of Communist organizations with the U.S. Attorney General and established the Subversive Activities Control Board to investigate possible Communist-action and Communist-front organizations so they could be required to register. Due to numerous hearings, delays and appeals, the act was never enforced, even with regard to the Communist Party of the United States itself, and the major provisions of the act were found to be unconstitutional in 1965 and 1967.[39] In 1952, the Immigration and Nationality, or McCarran-Walter, Act was passed. This law allowed the government to deport immigrants or naturalized citizens engaged in subversive activities and also to bar suspected subversives from entering the country.

The Communist Control Act of 1954 was passed with overwhelming support in both houses of Congress after very little debate. Jointly drafted by Republican John Marshall Butler and Democrat Hubert Humphrey, the law was an extension of the Internal Security Act of 1950, and sought to outlaw the Communist Party by declaring that the party, as well as "Communist-Infiltrated Organizations" were "not entitled to any of the rights, privileges, and immunities attendant upon legal bodies". The Communist Control Act never had any significant effect, and was perhaps most notable for the odd mix of liberals and conservatives among its supporters. It was successfully applied only twice: in 1954 it was used to prevent Communist Party members from appearing on the New Jersey state ballot, and in 1960 it was cited to deny the CPUSA recognition as an employer under New York State's unemployment compensation system. The New York Post called the act "a monstrosity", "a wretched repudiation of democratic principles," while The Nation accused Democratic liberals of a "neurotic, election-year anxiety to escape the charge of being 'soft on Communism' even at the expense of sacrificing constitutional rights."[40]

Popular support[edit]

Flier issued in May 1955 by the Keep America Committee urging readers to "fight communistic world government" by opposing public health programs.

McCarthyism was supported by a variety of groups, including the American Legion and various other anti-communist organizations. One core element of support was a variety of militantly anti-communist women's groups such as the American Public Relations Forum and the Minute Women of the U.S.A.. These organized tens of thousands of housewives into study groups, letter-writing networks, and patriotic clubs that coordinated efforts to identify and eradicate what they saw as subversion.[41]

Although far-right radicals were the bedrock of support for McCarthyism, they were not alone. A broad "coalition of the aggrieved" found McCarthyism attractive, or at least politically useful. Common themes uniting the coalition were opposition to internationalism, particularly the United Nations; opposition to social welfare provisions, particularly the various programs established by the New Deal; and opposition to efforts to reduce inequalities in the social structure of the United States.[42]

One focus of popular McCarthyism concerned the provision of public health services, particularly vaccination, mental health care services and fluoridation, all of which were deemed by some to be communist plots to poison or brainwash the American people. At times, the anti-internationalist aspect of McCarthyist literature took on an anti-Jewish tone. (See flier at right: 'Rabbi Spitz in the American Hebrew, March 1, 1946: "American Jews must come to grips with our contemporary anti-Semites; we must fill our insane asylums with anti-Semitic lunatics."') Such viewpoints led to major collisions between McCarthyite radicals and supporters of public health programs, most notably in the case of the Alaska Mental Health Bill controversy of 1956.[43]

William F. Buckley, Jr., the founder of the influential conservative political magazine National Review, wrote a defense of McCarthy, McCarthy and his Enemies, in which he asserted that "McCarthyism ... is a movement around which men of good will and stern morality can close ranks."[44]

In addition, as Richard Rovere points out, many ordinary Americans became convinced that there must be "no smoke without fire" and lent their support to McCarthyism. In January 1954, a Gallup poll found that 50% of the American public supported McCarthy, while 29% had an unfavorable opinion of the senator. Earl Warren, the Chief Justice of the United States, commented that if the United States Bill of Rights had been put to a vote it probably would have been defeated.[42]

Portrayals of Communists[edit]

The apologists of McCarthyism justified its un–Constitutional behavior by claiming that the American Communist Party was controlled from Moscow, therefore any American Communist is a puppet of the Soviet intelligence services; that opinion is supported by archival documents of the KGB[45] and Venona project transcriptions of wartime Soviet radio traffic, which indicate that the U.S.S.R. financed the American Communist Party, and so influenced their policies.[46] In 1950, J. Edgar Hoover said that Communists are property of the Party, body and soul. Hoover's attitude was not confined to arch-conservatives and reactionaries; a decade earlier, in 1940, the American Civil Liberties Union dismissed founding member Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, because her Communist Party membership disqualified her as a civil libertarian.

In the U.S. government's prosecutions of Communist Party members, under the Smith Act, the prosecution was not based upon specific crimes (actions or statements) by the defendants, but on the claimed premise that a commitment to the violent overthrowing of the government was inherent to the doctrines of Marxism–Leninism. Nonetheless, passages of the constitution of the American Communist Part specifically rejected revolutionary violence, which the government dismissed as deliberate deception.[47]

Moreover, anti-communists often claimed that the CPUSA did not allow any member to resign, therefore, a man or woman who briefly had been a member of the Party would be considered a current member. The hearings and trials of McCarthyism featured testimony by ex-Communists, such as Elizabeth Bentley, Louis F. Budenz, and Whittaker Chambers, who spoke as expert witnesses.[48][49]

Historians and pundits have discussed alleged Soviet-directed infiltration of the U.S. government and the possible collaboration of high U.S. government officials.[50][51][52][53]

Victims of McCarthy[edit]

It is difficult to estimate the number of victims of McCarthy. The number imprisoned is in the hundreds, and some ten or twelve thousand lost their jobs.[54] In many cases simply being subpoenaed by HUAC or one of the other committees was sufficient cause to be fired.[55] Many of those who were imprisoned, lost their jobs or were questioned by committees did in fact have a past or present connection of some kind with the Communist Party. But for the vast majority, both the potential for them to do harm to the nation and the nature of their communist affiliation were tenuous.[56] After the extremely damaging "Cambridge Five" spy scandal (Burgess, Maclean, Philby, Blunt, et al.), suspected homosexuality was also a common cause for being targeted by McCarthyism. The hunt for "sexual perverts", who were presumed to be subversive by nature, resulted in thousands being harassed and denied employment.[57] Many have termed this aspect of McCarthyism the "Lavender Scare".[58]

Homosexuality was classified as a psychiatric disorder in the 1950s.[59] However, in the context of the highly politicised Cold War environment, homosexuality became framed as a dangerous, contagious social disease that posed a potential threat to state security.[59] As the family was believed to be the cornerstone of American strength and integrity,[60] the description of homosexuals as "sexual perverts" meant that they were both unable to function within a family unit and presented the potential to poison the social body.[61] This era also witnessed the establishment of widely spread FBI surveillance intended to identify homosexual government employees.[62]

The McCarthy hearings and according "sexual pervert" investigations can be seen to have been driven by a desire to identify individuals whose ability to function as loyal citizens had been compromised.[61] Joseph McCarthy began his campaign by drawing upon the ways in which he embodied traditional American values in order to become the self-appointed vanguard of social morality.[63] Paradoxically, accusations of alleged homosexual behaviour marked the end of McCarthy’s political career.[64]

Dalton Trumbo and his wife Cleo at the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947.

In the film industry, more than 300 actors, authors and directors were denied work in the U.S. through the unofficial Hollywood blacklist. Blacklists were at work throughout the entertainment industry, in universities and schools at all levels, in the legal profession, and in many other fields. A port security program initiated by the Coast Guard shortly after the start of the Korean War required a review of every maritime worker who loaded or worked aboard any American ship, regardless of cargo or destination. As with other loyalty-security reviews of McCarthyism, the identities of any accusers and even the nature of any accusations were typically kept secret from the accused. Nearly 3,000 seamen and longshoremen lost their jobs due to this program alone.[65]

Some of the more notable people who were blacklisted or suffered some other persecution during McCarthyism are listed here:

In 1953, Robert K. Murray, a young professor of history at Pennsylvania State University who had served as an intelligence officer in World War II, was revising his dissertation on the Red Scare of 1919–20 for publication until Little, Brown and Company decided that "under the circumstances ... it wasn't wise for them to bring this book out." He learned that investigators were questioning his colleagues and relatives. The University of Minnesota press published his volume, Red Scare: A Study in National Hysteria, 1919–1920, in 1955.[112]

Criticism of McCarthyism[edit]

In criticizing the anti-intellectualism and political intolerance of McCarthyism, President Harry Truman said that “in a free country, we punish men for the crimes they commit, but never for the opinions they have.”[113]

Throughout the seven-year (1950–56) ordeal of political witch-hunting, which Senator Joseph McCarthy imposed upon the U.S., the majority of Americans did not support the ideology and practices of McCarthyism. In defense of his overridden veto of the McCarran Internal Security Act (Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950), which allowed the pre-emptive hunting of “political subversives”, President Harry Truman (1945–53) said that: “In a free country, we punish men for the crimes they commit, but never for the opinions they have.”[113]

Earlier, in the late 1940s, President Truman also had unsuccessfully vetoed the Taft-Hartley Act (Labor Management Relations Act of 1947), which, among other provisions, denied trade unions the legal protections of the National Labor Relations Board, unless the leaders of the labor unions personally swore, by way of an affidavit, that they never had been Communists or communist sympathizers (fellow travellers).

In 1953, ex–President Truman criticized the incumbent President Eisenhower for his government's accommodation of political persecution:

It is now evident that the present Administration has fully embraced, for political advantage, McCarthyism. I am not referring to the Senator from Wisconsin. He is only important in that his name has taken on the dictionary meaning of the word. It is the corruption of truth, the abandonment of the due-process law. It is the use of the big lie and the unfounded accusation against any citizen in the name of Americanism or security. It is the rise to power of the demagogue who lives on untruth; it is the spreading of fear and the destruction of faith in every level of society.[114]

On 1 June 1950, Senator Margaret Chase Smith, Republican for Maine, addressed the senate with the speech titled a “Declaration of Conscience”, which attacked McCarthyism, and called for the end of “character assassinations” and identified “some of the basic principles of Americanism: The right to criticize; The right to hold unpopular beliefs; The right to protest; The right of independent thought”. That “freedom of speech is not what it used to be in America”, and decried the “cancerous tentacles of ‘know-nothing, suspect-everything’ attitudes”.[115] In the event, six other Republican Senators — Wayne Morse, Irving M. Ives, Charles W. Tobey, Edward John Thye, George Aiken, and Robert C. Hendrickson — joined Sen. Smith in condemning McCarthyism.

In 1952, despite such Republican Party disavowal of MCarthyism, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower-court decision in the case of Adler v. Board of Education of New York, which allowed state loyalty-review boards to fire teachers whom they deemed to be politically subversive. Consequent to President Truman’s executive order (1947) allowing loyalty-investigations of federal employees, New York State adopted the “Feinberg Law” (1949), which allowed firing teachers from their jobs for being a member or for having been a member in “politically subversive organizations”. In the New York Supreme Court, the New York Teachers’ Union won a lawsuit that challenged the Constitutional validity of the Feinberg Law, but that state-court decision was reversed on appeal, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (6–3) against the teachers’ union, in a case of Adler v. Board of Education.[116] Nevertheless, in his dissenting opinion, Justice William O. Douglas said:

The present law proceeds on a principle repugnant to our society — guilt by association. . . . What happens under this law is typical of what happens in a police state. Teachers are under constant surveillance; their pasts are combed for signs of disloyalty; their utterances are watched for clues to dangerous thoughts.[117]

The reportage of Edward R. Murrow contributed to the political defeat of McCarthyism.

Elmer Davis, a respected reporter and editorial commentator of the 1940s and 1950s, criticized the philosophy and practices of McCarthyism, by warning communities that their local-level anti-communism was a form of anti-intellectualism, that is, “a general attack, not only on schools and colleges and libraries, on teachers and textbooks, but on all people who think and write . . . in short, on the freedom of the mind”.[118]

On 20 October 1953, the journalist Edward R. Murrow reported about the unethical practices of McCarthyism, in the television program See It Now, such as the dismissal from military service of Milo Radulovich, a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force reserve who had been accused of associating with Communists. Murrow criticized the unethical conduct of the U.S. Air Force, such as presenting evidence in a sealed envelope that neither the accused man (Lt. Radulovich) nor his defense attorney could review.

On 9 March 1954, the program broadcast the episode “A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy”, which presented film of Sen. McCarthy's speeches that faithfully, truthfully, and accurately showed the man's essential dishonesty of character, his reckless official behavior as a senator, and his personally abusive manner towards witnesses; in concluding the See It Now presentation, Murrow said:

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember, always, that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men.[28]

In the history of McCarthyism, the broadcast of “A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy” is a key episode in ending the demagogue's career of Sen. Joe McCarthy.[119]


In April 1954, Senator Joseph McCarthy was publicly shamed as a demagogue in the middle of his anti-communist investigation of the U.S. Army. During the televised Army–McCarthy hearings (April–June 1954), which were broadcast live, the American public witnessed the bully-boy behavior of Sen. McCarthy in the course of his interrogating witnesses summoned to answer to his Senate Subcommittee on Investigations. In one exchange, Sen. McCarthy reminded the attorney for the U.S. Army, Joseph N. Welch, that he had an employee, in his law firm, Hale & Dorr, a junior attorney named Fred Fisher, who, as a law student, had belonged to the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), which the FBI Direicetor, J. Edgar Hoover, sought to have legally declared as a Communist front organization. Counsellor Fisher was not at the hearing, because Sen. McCarthy had considered Fisher’s presence, in behalf of the U.S. Army, a political and ideologic conflict of interest; nonetheless, Welch dismissed Fisher’s membership to the NLG as the youthful indiscretion of an idealistic law student.

The Senate Subcommittee on Investigations investigate the U.S. Army for presence of Communists: The Army's attorney, Joseph N. Welch, (left) listens to Senator Joseph McCarthy (right) explain the Communist infiltration of the U.S. military establishment. (9 June 1954)

In turn, Counsellor Welch attacked Sen. McCarthy for naming Fisher before a national television audience without previous warning or agreement:

Until this moment, Senator, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Fred Fisher is a young man who went to the Harvard Law School and came into my firm and is starting what looks to be a brilliant career with us. Little did I dream you could be so reckless, and so cruel, as to do an injury to that lad.
It is true he is still with Hale and Dorr. It is true that he will continue to be with Hale and Dorr. It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear he shall always bear a scar, needlessly inflicted by you. If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty I would do so. I like to think I am a gentleman, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me.

When McCarthy tried to renew his attack, Welch interrupted him:

Senator, may we not drop this? We know he belonged to the Lawyers Guild . . . Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

When McCarthy again tried to interrogate Welch about Fisher, Welch interrupted — did not address McCarthy as “senator” — and told him:

“Mr. McCarthy, I will not discuss this further with you. You have sat within six feet of me, and could have asked me about Fred Fisher. You have seen fit to bring it out; and, if there is a God in Heaven, it will do neither you nor your cause any good. I will not discuss it further. I will not ask Mr. Cohn any more questions. You, Mr. Chairman, may, if you will, call the next witness.”[120]


In the mid– and late 1950s, the institutions of McCarthyism slowly weakened. Changing public sentiments contributed to the cultural decline of McCarthyism, which is delineated by a series of Supreme Court legal decisions that voided the legality of the practices of McCarthyism. In the event, after seven years of flouting the legal and political rights enumerated in the U.S. Constitution, on 2 December 1954, the U.S. Senate voted 65 to 22 to condemn Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy for “conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute”.

A key figure in the end of the blacklisting of McCarthyism was John Henry Faulk. Host of an afternoon comedy radio show, Faulk was a leftist active in his union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. He was scrutinized by AWARE, Inc., one of the private firms that examined individuals for signs of communist "disloyalty". Marked by AWARE as unfit, he was fired by CBS Radio. Almost uniquely among the many victims of blacklisting, Faulk decided to sue AWARE in 1957 and finally won the case in 1962.[121] With this court decision, the private blacklisters and those who used them were put on notice that they were legally liable for the professional and financial damage they caused. Although some informal blacklisting continued, the private "loyalty checking" agencies were soon a thing of the past.[122] Even before the Faulk verdict, many in Hollywood had decided it was time to break the blacklist. In 1960, Dalton Trumbo, one of the best known members of the Hollywood Ten, was publicly credited with writing the films Exodus and Spartacus.

Much of the undoing of McCarthyism came at the hands of the Supreme Court. As Richard Rovere wrote in his biography of Joseph McCarthy, "[T]he United States Supreme Court took judicial notice of the rents McCarthy was making in the fabric of liberty and thereupon wrote a series of decisions that have made the fabric stronger than before."[123] Two Eisenhower appointees to the court—Earl Warren (who was made Chief Justice) and William J. Brennan, Jr.—proved to be more liberal than Eisenhower had anticipated, and he would later refer to the appointment of Warren as his "biggest mistake".[124]

In 1956, the Supreme Court heard the case of Slochower v. Board of Education. Harry Slochower was a professor at Brooklyn College who had been fired by New York City for invoking the Fifth Amendment when McCarthy's committee questioned him about his past membership in the Communist Party. The court prohibited such actions, ruling "...we must condemn the practice of imputing a sinister meaning to the exercise of a person's constitutional right under the Fifth Amendment.[...] The privilege against self-incrimination would be reduced to a hollow mockery if its exercise could be taken as equivalent either to a confession of guilt or a conclusive presumption of perjury."[125]

Another key decision was in the 1957 case Yates v. United States, in which the convictions of fourteen Communists were reversed. In Justice Black's opinion, he wrote of the original "Smith Act" trials: "The testimony of witnesses is comparatively insignificant. Guilt or innocence may turn on what Marx or Engels or someone else wrote or advocated as much as a hundred years or more ago.[...] When the propriety of obnoxious or unfamiliar view about government is in reality made the crucial issue, [...] prejudice makes conviction inevitable except in the rarest circumstances."[126]

Also in 1957, the Supreme Court ruled on the case of Watkins v. United States, curtailing the power of HUAC to punish uncooperative witnesses by finding them in contempt of Congress. Justice Warren wrote in the decision: "The mere summoning of a witness and compelling him to testify, against his will, about his beliefs, expressions or associations is a measure of governmental interference. And when those forced revelations concern matters that are unorthodox, unpopular, or even hateful to the general public, the reaction in the life of the witness may be disastrous."[127][128]

In its 1958 decision in Kent v. Dulles, the Supreme Court halted the State Department from using the authority of its own regulations to refuse or revoke passports based on an applicant's communist beliefs or associations.[129]

Contemporary repercussions of McCarthyism[edit]

In the contemporary U.S., the ideological division of American society (political progress vs. political reaction) created with McCarthyism remains active, especially as manifested in the national-security police forces of the Department of Homeland Security. In the California Constitution, every state-government employee and elected officer must render a Loyalty oath attesting to his or her not being un–American, which is a theologic problem and an ethical dilemma for Quakers and Jehovah's Witnesses, whose religions forbid swearing an oath of political allegiance to the State,[130] and, in the federal government, sections of the McCarran Internal Security Act (Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950) remain legally effective.

In 2001, in “National Security State”, David D. Cole indicated the parallels bewteen McCarthyism and the American War on Terror, manifest in the USA PATRIOT Act:

The Patriot Act imposes guilt by association on immigrants, rendering them deportable for wholly innocent non-violent associational activity on behalf of any organization blacklisted as “terrorist”, by the Secretary of State. Any group of two or more that has used or threatened to use force can be designated as “terrorist”. This provision in effect resurrects the philosophy of McCarthyism, simply substituting “terrorist” for “communist”. Perhaps not realizing the pun, the Supreme Court has condemned guilt by association as “alien to the traditions of a free society and the First Amendment, itself”. Yet, it is now the rule for aliens in our free society. . . .

Secrecy has become the order of the day. Criminal proceedings are governed by gag orders — themselves secret — preventing defendants or their lawyers from saying anything to the public about their predicament. The INS has conducted secret immigration proceedings, closed to the public and even to family members. The Patriot Act authorizes never-disclosed wiretaps and secret searches in criminal investigations without probable cause of a crime, the bedrock Constitutional predicate for any search. And, in a federal court of appeals in Miami in November, the government renewed its defense of the use of secret evidence in immigration proceedings, arguing that it needs the authority more than ever, after September 11, to detain aliens by using evidence they cannot confront or rebut.

We can look forward to more secrecy still. A major impetus behind George W. Bush's presidential order authorizing the trial of suspected terrorists in military tribunals was the desire to avoid the Constitutional necessity of disclosing classified evidence to the defendant in an ordinary criminal trial. In military tribunals, defendants have no right to a public trial, no right to trial by jury, no right to confront the evidence or to object to illegally obtained evidence and no right to appeal to an independent court. The military acts as prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner, and a death sentence can be imposed by a two-thirds vote of the military officers presiding.[131]

In 2005, in The Age of Anxiety: McCarthyism to Terrorism (2005), Haynes Johnson said that the anti–Muslim and Islamophobic “abuses suffered by aliens thrown into high-security U.S. prisons in the wake of 9/11” are comparable to the moral panic and legalistic abuses of the McCarthy era, which justified the political persecution of left-wing American citizens (Communists, Socialists, progressives) who were suspected of being ideologically unfaithful to the United Stataes.[132]

Contemporary defenses of McCarthyism[edit]

In Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism (2003), the right-wing writer Ann Coulter, said that there is a political parallel between liberal opposition to Senator McCarthy and to McCarthyism in the 1950s, when liberals hindered the anti–Communist work of McCarthyism — discovering, prosecuting, and imprisoning Communists and fellow travellers, and contemporary American liberal hindrance of the War on Terrorism, in their appeals to the rule of Constitutional law.[133]

Other authors who have drawn on a comparison between current anti-terrorism policies and McCarthyism include Geoffrey R. Stone,[134] Ted Morgan,[135] and Jonah Goldberg.[136]

McCarthyism also attracts controversy purely as a historical issue. Through declassified documents from Soviet archives and Venona project decryptions of coded Soviet messages, it has become known that the Soviet Union engaged in substantial espionage activities in the United States during the 1940s. It is also known that the Communist Party USA was substantially funded and its policies controlled by the Soviet Union, and there are accusations that CPUSA members were often recruited as spies.[137] In the view of some contemporary commentators, these revelations stand as at least a partial vindication of McCarthyism.[138] Some feel that there was a genuinely dangerous subversive element in the United States, and that this danger justified extreme measures.[136]

In the eighties, Russian defector and KGB agent Yuri Bezmenov stated that the lion's share of the KGB's efforts had been to overthrow the West through subversion, specifically by influencing and flooding key cultural figures (such as publishers, moviemakers and academics) with communist literature. The plan was to have them demoralise the U.S. population. Bezmenov later found out that many of these idealistic leftists were listed for future execution once they had served their purpose, that is, when the Soviets would achieve control.[139][140]

As such, while acknowledging that there were inexcusable excesses during McCarthyism, some argue that some contemporary historians of McCarthyism underplay the depth of Soviet espionage in America[141] or the undemocratic nature of the CPUSA,[142] the latter concern being shared by some Trotskyites who felt that they, and anti-Stalin socialists in general, were persecuted by the CPUSA.[143] The opposing view holds that, recent revelations notwithstanding, by the time McCarthyism began in the late 1940s, the CPUSA was an ineffectual fringe group, and the damage done to U.S. interests by Soviet spies after World War II was minimal.[144] Historian Ellen Schrecker, herself criticised for pro-Stalinist leanings,[145] has written, "in this country, McCarthyism did more damage to the constitution than the American Communist Party ever did."[146]

Contemporary McCarthyism[edit]

Since the McCarthy era (1950–56), the term McCarthyism entered American English as a pejorative speech term for demagogic practices, such as aggressively impugning an opponent’s patriotism; making un-supported accusations; using an accusation of disloyalty to compel conformity to a given political orthodoxy; subverting the civil and political rights of citizens in the name of “national security”, et cetera.[147][148][149] Moreover, the term McCarthyism also is a synonym for a witch-hunt and the concomitant mass hysteria and moral panic.

McCarthyism in popular culture[edit]

In the play, The Crucible (1952), Arthur Miller used the Salem witch trials as a cultural metaphor for McCarthyism, indicating that anti-intellectualism facilitates the assumption of power by an opportunist, of the Joseph McCarthy type. That once accused, a person had little chance of exoneration, given the irrational and circular reasoning of the ideologues in the courts and among the public. About the parallels between the periods of mass hysteria occurred in U.S. history, the playwright Miller said, “The more I read into the Salem panic, the more it touched off corresponding images of common experiences in the fifties.”[150]

The film The Front (1976), directed by Martin Ritt, dealt with the Hollywood blacklist of the McCarthy era,[151] as did the 2015 film Trumbo.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "The Cold War Home Front: McCarthyism". Retrieved 21 May 2016. 
  2. ^ See this online dictionary for full definition.
  3. ^ For example, Yates v. United States (1957) and Watkins v. United States (1957): Fried (1997), pp. 205, 207.
  4. ^ For example, California's "Levering Oath" law, declared unconstitutional in 1967: Fried (1997), p. 124.
  5. ^ For example, Slochower v. Board of Education (1956): Fried (1997), p. 203.
  6. ^ For example, Faulk vs. AWARE Inc., et al. (1962): Fried (1997), p. 197.
  7. ^ Weir (2007), pp. 148–49.
  8. ^ Fried (1990), p. 41.
  9. ^ Brinkley (1995), p. 141; Fried (1990), pp. 6, 15, 78–80.
  10. ^ Griffith (1970), p. 49.
  11. ^ Block (1952), p. 152.
  12. ^ Fried (1990), p. 150.
  13. ^ Fried (1990), p. 70.
  14. ^ McCoy, Donald R. (1991). Fausold, Martin; Shank, Alan, eds. The Constitution of the Truman Presidency and the Post–World War II Era. The Constitution and the American Presidency (SUNY Press). p. 116. ISBN 978-0-7914-0468-3 
  15. ^ Hogan, Michael J. (2000). A Cross of Iron: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945-1954. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 254–5. 
  16. ^ Fried (1997).
  17. ^ Brown (1958).
  18. ^ Schrecker (1998), p. 271.
  19. ^ Fried (1990), p. 133.
  20. ^ Schrecker (1998), pp. 239, 203.
  21. ^ Schrecker (1998), pp. 211, 266 et seq.
  22. ^ Schrecker (2002), p. 65.
  23. ^ Schrecker (1998), p. 212.
  24. ^ a b Cox and Theoharis (1988), p. 312.
  25. ^ Schrecker (1998), p. 225.
  26. ^ Case, Sue-Ellen; Reinelt, Janelle G. (editors) (1991). The Performance of Power: Theatrical Discourse and Politics. University of Iowa Press. p. 153. ISBN 9781587290343. 
  27. ^ Fried (1990), pp. 154–155; Schrecker (2002), p. 68.
  28. ^ a b "See it Now: A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (transcript)". CBS-TV. 9 March 1954. Retrieved 2007-03-16. 
  29. ^ Fried (1990), pp. 145–150.
  30. ^ Griffith (1970), p. 216.
  31. ^ Stone (2004), p. 384.
  32. ^ Fried (1990), p. 138.
  33. ^ 83rd U.S. Congress (July 30, 1954). "Senate Resolution 301: Censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  34. ^ Fried (1997), p. 116.
  35. ^ Fried (1997), pp. 13, 15, 27, 110–112, 165–168.
  36. ^ Fried (1997), pp. 201–202.
  37. ^ Levin, Daniel, "Smith Act", in Paul Finkelman (ed.) (2006). Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties. CRC Press. p. 1488. ISBN 0-415-94342-6. 
  38. ^ Schrecker (1998), p. 141.
  39. ^ Fried (1990), p. 187.
  40. ^ McAuliff (1978), p. 142.
  41. ^ Nickerson, Michelle M., "Women, Domesticity, and Postwar Conservatism", OAH Magazine of History 17 (January 2003). ISSN 0882-228X.
  42. ^ a b Rovere (1959), pp. 21–22.
  43. ^ Marmor, Judd, Viola W. Bernard, and Perry Ottenberg, "Psychodynamics of Group Opposition to Mental Health Programs", in Judd Marmor (1994). Psychiatry in Transition (2nd ed.). Transaction. pp. 355–373. ISBN 1-56000-736-2. 
  44. ^ Buckley (1954), p. 335.
  45. ^ Andrew, Christopher; Vasili Mitrokhin (1999). The Sword and the Shield. New York: Basic Books. pp. 108,110,122,148,164,226,236–7,279–280,294–306. ISBN 0-465-00310-9. 
  46. ^ Haynes, John; Harvey Klehr (1999). Venona — Decoding Soviet Espionage in America. Connecticut: Yale University. pp. 221–226. ISBN 0-300-07771-8. 
  47. ^ Schrecker (1998), pp. 161, 193, 194.
  48. ^ Chambers, Whittaker (1952). Witness. New York: Random House. p. 799. ISBN 978-0-8488-0958-4. 
  49. ^ Schrecker (1998), pp. 130–37.
  50. ^ Herman, Arthur (2000). Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the Life and Legacy of America's Most Hated Senator. Free Press. pp. 5–6.
  51. ^ Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America—The Stalin Era (New York: Modern Library, 2000) ISBN 978-0-375-75536-1), pp. 48, 158, 162, 169, 229
  52. ^ M. Stanton Evans, Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight against America’s Enemies Crown Forum 2007 pp. 19-21
  53. ^ John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America Yale University Press 1999 p. 18
  54. ^ Schrecker (1998), p. xiii.
  55. ^ Schrecker (2002), pp. 63–64.
  56. ^ Schrecker (1998), p. 4.
  57. ^ D'Emilio (1998), pp. 41–49.
  58. ^ David K. Johnson, The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009.), pg 10
  59. ^ a b Gary Kinsman and Patrizia Gentile, The Canadian War on Queers: National Security as Sexual Regulation. (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010.), pg 65
  60. ^ Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy and Madeline Davis, Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold. (Routledge, Inc.: New York, New York, 1993.), pg 75
  61. ^ a b Kinsman and Gentile, pg 8
  62. ^ John D'Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman, Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America, Third Edition. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.), pg 316
  63. ^ David K. Johnson, pg 96
  64. ^ David K. Johnson, pg 144
  65. ^ Schrecker (1998), p. 267.
  66. ^ Publication canceled after FBI contact: Horvath, Brooke (2005). Understanding Nelson Algren. University of South Carolina Press. p. 84. ISBN 1-57003-574-1. 
  67. ^ Investigated by the FBI and brought before HUAC for having registered as a Communist supporter in 1936: "Lucille Ball". FBI Records: The Vault. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved 9 September 2015. 
  68. ^ On Hollywood "graylist": "Composer Elmer Bernstein Dead at 82". Associated Press. August 19, 2004. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  69. ^ Schrecker, Ellen (2002). The Age of McCarthyism: A Brief History with Documents. New York, Palgrave. p. 244. ISBN 0-312-29425-5. 
  70. ^ Lost his job, exiled: Jessica Wang (1999). American Science in an Age of Anxiety: scientists, anticommunism, & the cold war. The University of North Carolina Press. pp. 277–278. ISBN 978-0-8078-2447-4. 
  71. ^ "Obituary", New York Times, November 25, 1990. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  72. ^ "McCarthy Target Ousted". New York Times. November 21, 1952. Retrieved April 4, 2014. 
  73. ^ Buhle, Paul & David Wagner (2003b). Blacklisted: The Film Lover's Guide to the Hollywood Blacklist. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-4039-6145-X. 
  74. ^ Harassed by anti-Communist groups, denied reentry to United States while traveling abroad: Lev, Peter (1999). Transforming the Screen, 1950–1959. University of California Press. p. 159. ISBN 0-520-24966-6. 
  75. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p On the Red Channels blacklist of artists and entertainers: Schrecker (2002), p. 244.
  76. ^ Blacklisted in his profession, committed suicide in 1959: Bosworth, Patricia (1998). Anything Your Little Heart Desires: An American Family Story. Touchstone. ISBN 0-684-83848-6. 
  77. ^ a b c d e f "The Authentic History Center: Red Channels, The Blacklist". Retrieved 21 July 2010. [dead link]
  78. ^ On Hollywood blacklist: Buhle and Wagner (2003), p. 105.
  79. ^ Harassed by anti-Communist groups, denied reentry to United States, thus prevented from acting in the movie Broken Lance: Ramón, David (1997). Dolores del Río. Clío. p. 44. ISBN 968-6932-35-6. 
  80. ^ Indicted under the Foreign Agents Registration Act: Du Bois, W.E.B. (1968). The Autobiography of W. E. B. Du Bois. International Publishers. ISBN 0-7178-0234-5. 
  81. ^ Craig, R. Bruce (2004). Treasonable Doubt. University Press of Kansas. p. 496. ISBN 978-0-7006-1311-3. 
  82. ^ Jerome, Fred (2002). The Einstein File: J. Edgar Hoover's Secret War Against the World's Most Famous Scientist. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-28856-5. 
  83. ^ Herman, Jan (1995). A Talent for Trouble: The Life of Hollywood's Most Acclaimed Director, William Wyler. Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo. ISBN 0-306-80798-X. 
  84. ^ Blacklisted, imprisoned for three months for contempt of Congress: Sabin (1999), p. 75.
  85. ^ Alexander, Stephan (2007). Überwacht. Ausgebürgert. Exiliert: Schriftsteller und der Staat. Bielefeld: Aisthesis Verlag. pp. 36–52. ISBN 978-3-89528-634-6. 
  86. ^ On Hollywood blacklist: Buhle and Wagner (2003), p. 31.
  87. ^ Berch, Bettina (1988). Radical By Design: The Life and Style of Elizabeth Hawes. Dutton Adult. ISBN 0-525-24715-7. 
  88. ^ "Dorothy Healey Lifelong Communist Fought for Workers", Los Angeles Times, Dennis McLellan, August 08, 2006. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  89. ^ New York Times: "Theodore Kaghan, 77; Was in Foreign Service," August 11, 1989, accessed March 7, 2011
  90. ^ Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Section. "Subject: Danny Kaye". Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  91. ^ Keith Haynes "Benjamin Keen 1913–2002" Hispanic American Historical Review 83.2 (2003) 357–359
  92. ^ Heyworth, Peter (1996). Otto Klemperer: Vol.2, 1933-1973: His Life and Times. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521244886. 
  93. ^ Louis Komzsik (2003). The Lanczos Method:Evolution and Application. SIAM. p. 79. 
  94. ^ Blacklisted and unemployed, committed suicide in 1955: Fried (1990), p. 156.
  95. ^ a b c Stephan, Alexander (1995). Im Visier des FBI: deutsche Exilschriftsteller in den Akten amerikanischer Geheimdienste. Metzler. ISBN 3-476-01381-2. 
  96. ^ Trotter, William R. (1995). Priest of Music. The Life of Dimitri Mitropoulos. Amadeus Press. ISBN 0-931340-81-0. 
  97. ^ Security clearance withdrawn: Schrecker (2002), p. 41.
  98. ^ Repeatedly denied passport: Thompson, Gail & R. Andrew Viruleg. "Linus Pauling". Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  99. ^ Robert D. Dean, The Imperial Brotherhood: Gender and the Making of Cold War Foreign Policy (University of Massachusetts Press, 2001), 65, 127, 140
  100. ^ "Obituary", New York Times, November 9, 1987. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  101. ^ On Hollywood blacklist: Buhle and Wagner (2003), p. 18.
  102. ^ Blacklisted, passport revoked: Marable, Manning, John McMillian, and Nishani Frazier (eds.) (2003). Freedom on My Mind: The Columbia Documentary History of the African American Experience. Columbia University Press. p. 559. ISBN 0-231-10890-7. 
  103. ^ On Hollywood blacklist: Buhle and Wagner (2003), p. 208.
  104. ^ Brodeur, Paul (1997). A Writer in the Cold War. Faber and Faber. pp. 159–65. ISBN 978-0-571-19907-5. 
  105. ^ New York Times: Herbert Mitgang, "William L. Shirer, Author, Is Dead at 89,", accessed March 5, 2011
  106. ^ New York Times: Lawrence Van Gelder, "Lionel Stander Dies at 86; Actor Who Defied Blacklist," December 2, 1994, accessed March 5, 2011
  107. ^, p.7
  108. ^ Subpoenaed by New Hampshire Attorney General, indicted for contempt of court: Heale, M. J. (1998). McCarthy's Americans: Red Scare Politics in State and Nation, 1935–1965. University of Georgia Press. p. 73. ISBN 0-8203-2026-9. 
  109. ^ Robert D. Dean, Imperial Brotherhood: Gender and the Making of Cold War Foreign Policy (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2001), 141–44
  110. ^ Passport revoked, incarcerated: Chang, Iris (1996). Thread of the Silkworm. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-00678-7. 
  111. ^ David H. Price. 2004. Threatening Anthropology: McCarthyism and the FBI's Surveillance of Activist Anthropologists. Duke University Press, March 30, 2004
  112. ^ Organization of American Historians: Lee W. Formwalt, "Robert Murray's Two Red Scares," in OAH Newsletter, November 2003, accessed January 28, 2011
  113. ^ a b Truman, Harry S. (September 1950). "Veto of the Internal Security Bill". Truman Presidential Museum and Library. Retrieved 2006-08-07. 
  114. ^ Doherty (2005), pp. 14–15.
  115. ^ Smith, Margaret Chase (June 1, 1950). "Declaration of Conscience". Margaret Chase Smith Library. Retrieved 2006-08-04. 
  116. ^ Adler vs Board of Education
  117. ^ Fried (1997), p. 114.
  118. ^ Fried (1990), p. 29.
  119. ^ Streitmatter (1998), p. 154.
  120. ^ Doherty (2005), p. 207.
  121. ^ Faulk, John Henry (1963). Fear on Trial. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-72442-X. 
  122. ^ Fried (1997), p. 197.
  123. ^ Rovere (1959), p. 264.
  124. ^ Sabin (1999), p. 5.
  125. ^ Fried (1997), p. 203.
  126. ^ Fried (1997), p. 205.
  127. ^ Fried (1997), p. 207.
  128. ^ full text (
  129. ^ Fried (1997), p. 211.
  130. ^ Paddock, Richard C. (11 May 2008), "Loyalty oath poses ethical dilemmas", San Francisco Chronicle
  131. ^ Cole, David, "[1]", The Nation (17 December 2001). See also Cole, David, "The New McCarthyism: Repeating History in the War on Terrorism", Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 38, no. 1 (Winter 2003).
  132. ^ Johnson, Haynes (2005). The Age of Anxiety: McCarthyism to Terrorism. Harcourt. p. 471. ISBN 0-15-101062-5. 
  133. ^ Coulter, Ann (2003). Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 1-4000-5032-4. 
  134. ^ Stone, Geoffrey R. (2004). "Essay on McCarthyism and Modern Threats to Liberty". University of Chicago Law School. Retrieved 2006-11-02. 
  135. ^ Morgan, Ted (2004). Reds: McCarthyism in Twentieth-Century America. Random Hous. p. 597 et seq. ISBN 0-8129-7302-X. 
  136. ^ a b Goldberg, Jonah (February 26, 2003). "Two Cheers for "McCarthyism"?". National Review Online. Archived from the original on 2006-12-10. Retrieved 2007-01-25. 
  137. ^ Marshall, Joshua, "Exhuming McCarthy", American Prospect 10, no. 43 (1999).
  138. ^ David Aaronovitch McCarthy: There Were Reds Under the Bed BBC Radio 4 airdate 9 August 2010
  139. ^ Schuman, Tomas (1984). Love Letter to America. Los Angeles: NATA. ISBN 978-0-935090-13-0. Retrieved 2010-11-30. [copyright violation?]
  140. ^ Schuman, Tomas (1986). World Thought Police. Los Angeles: NATA. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-935090-14-7. Archived from the original on November 1, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-30. 
  141. ^ Radosh, Ronald (July 11, 2001). "The Persistence of Anti-Anti-Communism". Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  142. ^ Haynes, John Earl. "Reflections on Ellen Schrecker and Maurice Isserman's essay, "The Right's Cold War Revision"". 
  143. ^ Shannon Jones Account of McCarthy period slanders socialist opponents of Stalinism International Committee of the Fourth International 24 March 1999
    Any serious assessment of McCarthyism must consider fore and center the criminal role played by the Stalinist Communist Party, which, by associating socialism with terrible crimes against the working class, helped create the political climate in which red-baiting could flourish.
  144. ^ Theoharis, Athan (2002). Chasing Spies: How the FBI Failed in Counter-Intelligence But Promoted the Politics of McCarthyism in the Cold War Years. Ivan R. Dee. ISBN 1-56663-420-2. 
  145. ^ Jones, Shannon (24 March 1999). "Account of McCarthy period slanders socialist opponents of Stalinism". World Socialist Web Site. International Committee of the Fourth International. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
    ...her pro-Stalinist outlook and the school of anticommunism share a common premise - the claim that the Soviet regime as it developed under Stalin was the embodiment of Marxist principles.
  146. ^ Schrecker, Ellen (Winter 2000). "Comments on John Earl Haynes' The Cold War Debate Continues". Journal of Cold War Studies. Harvard University—Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2009-02-27.  Emphasis in original.
  147. ^ Rosenthal, Jack (1984-10-07). "N.Y. Times, 1986". Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  148. ^ Boot, Max (1950-02-09). "Commentary magazine, 2000". Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  149. ^ History News Network, 2004
  150. ^ Miller, Arthur (21 October 1996). "Why I Wrote The Crucible". The New Yorker. 
  151. ^ The Front, Directed by Martin Ritt; with Woody Allen, Zero Mostel, Herschel Bernardi, Michael Murphy (1976). Internet Movie Database (retrieved 8 April 2015)


  • Block, Herbert (1952). The Herblock Book. Beacon. ISBN 1-4992-5346-X. 
  • Brinkley, Alan (1995). The End Of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War. Vintage. ISBN 0-679-75314-1. 
  • Brown, Ralph S. (1958). Loyalty and Security: Employment Tests in the United States. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-306-70218-5. 
  • Buckley, William F. (1977). A Hymnal: The Controversial Arts. G.P. Putnam's Sons. ISBN 0399-12227-3. 
  • Buckley, William F. (1954). McCarthy and His Enemies: The Record and Its Meaning. Regnery. ISBN 0-89526-472-2. 
  • Buhle, Paul & David Wagner (2003). Hide in Plain Sight: The Hollywood Blacklistees in Film and Television, 1950–2002. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-4039-6144-1. 
  • Cox, John Stuart & Athan G. Theoharis (1988). The Boss: J. Edgar Hoover and the Great American Inquisition. Temple University Press. ISBN 0-87722-532-X. 
  • D'Emilio, John (1998). Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities (2d ed.). University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-14267-1. 
  • Doherty, Thomas (2005). Cold War, Cool Medium: Television, McCarthyism, and American Culture. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-12953-X. 
  • Fried, Albert (1997). McCarthyism, The Great American Red Scare: A Documentary History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509701-7. 
  • Fried, Richard M. (1990). Nightmare in Red: The McCarthy Era in Perspective. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-504361-8. 
  • Griffith, Robert (1970). The Politics of Fear: Joseph R. McCarthy and the Senate. University of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 0-87023-555-9. 
  • Haynes, John Earl, and Harvey Klehr (2000). Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-08462-5. 
  • Herman, Herman (2000). Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the Life and Legacy of America’s Most Hated Senator. The Free Press. ISBN 0-68483625-4. 
  • McAuliff, Mary Sperling (1978). Crisis on the Left: Cold War Politics and American Liberals, 1947–1954. University of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 0-87023-241-X. 
  • Rovere, Richard H. (1959). Senator Joe McCarthy. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-20472-7. 
  • Sabin, Arthur J. (1999). In Calmer Times: The Supreme Court and Red Monday. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-3507-X. 
  • Schrecker, Ellen (1998). Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-77470-7. 
  • Schrecker, Ellen (2002). The Age of McCarthyism: A Brief History with Documents (2d ed.). Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-29425-5. 
  • Stone, Geoffrey R. (2004). Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism. W. W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-05880-8. 
  • Streitmatter, Rodger (1998). Mightier Than the Sword: How the News Media Have Shaped American History. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-3211-7. 
  • Weir, Robert E. (2007). Class in America: An Encyclopedia. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-33720-9. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]