Wintersalen Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Original Essays | October 23, 2014

    Kathryn Harrison: IMG On Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured



    I'm always sorry to finish a book, to let go of characters I love, people I've struggled to understand for years, people who evolve before me.... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$26.25
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
25 Remote Warehouse US History- 20th Century

Nightmare in Red: The McCarthy Era in Perspective

by

Nightmare in Red: The McCarthy Era in Perspective Cover

ISBN13: 9780195043617
ISBN10: 0195043618
Condition:
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

As an American living in the early 1950s, you might have found yourself forced to answer the question: "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist party?" You might have heard accusations that your own government was "soft on Communism." Congress had determined that your children must include the phrase "under God" when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The Cincinnati Reds had changed their name, briefly, to "Redlegs" to avoid confusion with any other "Reds." In Indiana, some citizens considered removing copies of The Adventures of Robin Hood from libraries because the story's subversive message encouraged robbing from the rich to give to the poor. These developments grew out of the broad anxiety over communism which characterized the McCarthy era.

Recent years have witnessed a flood of books on various aspects of "McCarthyism," but generally these works have slighted the complete story of the origins and development of this broad phenomenon in favor of the particular. Now comes Richard M. Fried's lively Nightmare in Red to offer the first well-balanced, complete account of the entire era. The book uncovers the origins of extremist anti-communism in the troubled 1930s and traces it beyond the censure of Senator McCarthy to its lingering demise in the late 50s and 60s.

Fried presents an engaging narrative about the many different people who became involved in the drama of the anti-communist fervor, passing chronologically from the New Deal era and World War II, to the early years of the Cold War, through the peak of the McCarthy era, and beyond that to the decline of the House Committee on Un-American Activities in the 1960s. Along the way, we meet the familiar figures of the era--Wisconsin Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower, and the young Richard Nixon. 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. Along with the famous cases such as the Hollywood Ten (which led to the entertainment world's notorious blacklist) and the Alger Hiss case, Fried recounts a wealth of little-known but telling episodes involving victims and victimizers of anti-communist politics at the state and local levels.

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. This wide-ranging study provides a highly original account of the impact of anti-communism in mid-century American politics and culture.

Synopsis:

According to newspaper headlines and television pundits, the cold war ended many months ago; the age of Big Two confrontation is over. But forty years ago, Americans were experiencing the beginnings of another era--of the fevered anti-communism that came to be known as McCarthyism. During this period, the Cincinnati Reds felt compelled to rename themselves briefly the "Redlegs" to avoid confusion with the other reds, and one citizen in Indiana campaigned to have The Adventures of Robin Hood removed from library shelves because the story's subversive message encouraged robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. These developments grew out of a far-reaching anxiety over communism that characterized the McCarthy Era.

Richard Fried's Nightmare in Red offers a riveting and comprehensive account of this crucial time. He traces the second Red Scare's antecedents back to the 1930s, and presents an engaging narrative about the many different people who became involved in the drama of the anti-communist fervor, from the New Deal era and World War II, through the early years of the cold war, to the peak of McCarthyism, and beyond McCarthy's censure to the decline of the House Committee on Un-American Activities in the 1960s. 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. McCarthy. 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. 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.

Providing the most complete history of the rise and fall of the phenomenon known as McCarthyism, Nightmare in Red shows that it involved far more than just Joe McCarthy.

Synopsis:

Providing the most complete history of the rise and fall of the phe-nomenon known as McCarthyism, Nightmare in Red offers a riveting and comprehensive account of the many different people who became embroiled in the anti-communist fervor of mid-century America. It traces the second Red Scare's antecedents from the 1930s, to the early years of the Cold War, through the peak of the McCarthy era, and beyond McCarthy's censure to the decline of the House Committee on Un-American Activities in the 1960s.

About the Author

Richard M. Fried teaches history at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is author of Men Against McCarthy.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

OneMansView, July 30, 2010 (view all comments by OneMansView)
Informative overview of an era of extremism from the right

This fairly short book provides a good overview of the so-called Second Red Scare occurring in the 1940s and 50s. It was an era of witch hunting, hysteria, paranoia, and demonization. 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. While there may be the perception that Sen. Joe McCarthy was the principal figure of this Red Scare mania, hence the advent of the term “McCarthyism,” denoting uncontrolled extremism and ruthlessness in labeling others as disloyal or otherwise undesirable, in actuality the atmosphere of rabid anti-communism predated the rise of McCarthy by a decade and involved many other officials and committees, ranging from the President to numerous Congressmen. Hence, McCarthy lurks in the book more than being an actual presence. His bombast and rash forays looking for all manner of communists and subversives made him the most visible figure of anticommunism for about four years, 1950-54, but just as assuredly resulted in his self-destruction when he turned his guns on esteemed military leaders. In many ways McCarthy was a creation of the press, who simply could not resist the sensational regardless of truthfulness. But, then again, Edward R. Murrow’s “See It Now” show and the round-the-clock coverage of the McCarthy-Army hearings by ABC permitted the American public to witness firsthand McCarthy’s bullying. His demise soon followed.

In the early decades of the 20th century more Americans than may be thought turned to socialism, and some to communism, as an answer to the depredations of recession prone capitalism, especially in the Great Depression. However, rightist political elements, already enraged by the New Deal, saw the rising acceptance of communism, including FDR’s diplomatic recognition of the USSR in 1933, as not only a threat to security but as an opportunity to discredit FDR’s administration. By the early 1940s several responses were underway: the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) under Texas Democrat Martin Dies was investigating subversive activities; the Hatch, Voorhis, and Smith Acts were passed; and lists of individuals and organizations were being compiled by the General Intelligence Div of the FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover, and the Justice Dept. All of these efforts were designed to find subversives or label as a subversive anyone associating with a hostile organization and to prevent them form being employed by the federal gov, if not prosecuted for their membership.

In addition to, or despite, the author focusing on the hysteria of anti-communism, he makes clear that Russian agents had infiltrated key US governmental offices in the 1940s, including the Manhattan Project where the atomic bomb was developed. It is safe to say that many in the intelligentsia of the US in the 30s and 40s were left-leaning, even to the point of flirting with communism. However, rigid conservatives hardly distinguished between alternative thinking, supposedly protected by the First Amendment, and advocacy of the overthrow of the established order. In their eyes “disloyalty,” which included flirtations with the left, was rampant. The defection of Soviet spies Igor Gouzenko and Elizabeth Bentley in the mid-40s uncovered Soviet spy rings as well as important spies such as Klaus Fuchs, a German scientist, the Rosenbergs, and the enigmatic Alger Hiss. But the FBI and watchdog bodies hardly stopped at genuine security risks.
After the War, anti-Russian sentiments ratcheted up considerably. At least partly to deflect charges of being soft on Communism, Pres. Truman issued Executive Order 9835 establishing a loyalty-security program for all federal employees. The due-process and “reasonable ground” aspects of that order were scarcely practiced by the many bodies that took the hint of rooting out subversives. The hounding of the Hollywood Ten, mostly screen writers and directors, by the HUAC and member Richard Nixon, for their communist ties set the tone for the era. The courts rejected their First Amendment defense, that is, their rights to speak or not speak and to assemble peaceably. All served jail terms. Moreover, it represented the start of blacklisting, making future employment nearly impossible. Professors and school teachers were particularly subjected to loyalty grilling. Being either associated with Communists or taking the Fifth Amendment, that is the unwillingness to admit assumed guilt, would often result in being fired. 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. Despite the large role that Communists had played in CIO unions since the thirties, the CIO purged eleven unions that refused to abide, a move that the labor movement has never recovered from. Even movements for civil and women’s rights were subjected to the red-baiting of McCarthyites.

Numerous worldwide developments exacerbated McCarthyism in the late 40’s and early 50’s: the blockade of Berlin, the ascension of Communists in Eastern Europe, the creation of the People’s Republic of China, Russian success in testing atomic bombs, and the invasion of S. Korea by the North. This is the climate that McCarthy exploited in his so-called coming out speech in March, 1950, whereby he declared that 205 card-carrying Communists worked in the State Dept, a number that he was reluctant to reiterate. McCarthy went on to head the Senate Permanent Committee on Investigations, where he became obsessed with the subversive nature of the Voice of America. 1950 also saw the passage of the McCarran Internal Security Act and the establishment of the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS). There, Democrat Pat McCarran became obsessed with showing, ultimately unsuccessfully, that China Hand, Owen Lattimore, was a tool of the Communists.

As predicted by many, McCarthy would overstep his self-assigned mandate to root out subversion. His defiance toward the Senate concerning his accusations of Army disloyalty earned him a formal censure from his fellow Senators in Dec, 1954. His power to intimidate vanished overnight and the Red Scare phenomenon lost some of its dynamic. However, McCarthyism had a momentum that lingered for years with the FBI taking on the predominant role in keeping an eye on subversives and radicals, even resorting to dirty tricks to discredit. As the author points out, the Supreme Court under Justices Earl Warren and William Brennan finally cracked down on the violation of rights that were being so flagrantly abused by the legislation and investigative bodies of the period. He suggests that the US was a bit lucky in those appointments. Who can say how McCarthyism would have been resolved by a more conservative Court.

The author captures that the McCarthy era was highly complex. McCarthyism did have considerable public support: veteran’s groups, rural Americans, those opposed to social change, etc. There was genuine fear of the Communist threat and unwelcome social change. However, there is no doubt that those fears were fanned for political gain – something at which McCarthy was quite adept. But American ideals of freedom did suffer tremendously in this climate. And thousands of individuals were harmed, losing their livelihoods, usually with no recourse. Contentions that national security justified such excess are simplistic at best, ignoring the costs to the national culture. The penetration of Soviet spy rings was well in hand by the late 40’s, making the extremism of the era seem even more questionable. In some respects the most un-American aspect of the entire era was the ruthlessness displayed by elected officials and judges in hunting down their fellow Americans. What does that say about our democracy?

Because the era is so complicated with so many actions occurring over a number of years, it is difficult to write a linear book on the subject, hence the objection of some to its seeming disorganization. But the book is a nice overview of the period with an amazing amount of detail. The author is clearly not enamored of McCarthyism, but the book is hardly a leftist diatribe.

Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(8 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195043617
Author:
Fried, Richard M.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
null, Richard M.
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Modern - 20th Century
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Anti-communist movements
Subject:
International Relations - General
Subject:
History, American | 1900-1945
Subject:
US History - 20th Century
Copyright:
Edition Number:
6
Edition Description:
Bibliography: p. 223-229.
Series Volume:
15
Publication Date:
19910331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
384 pictorial sections, 6 in color
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.01x5.38x.53 in. .48 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Hope Restored New Trade Paper $20.95
  2. Coming Apart: An Informal History of... Used Trade Paper $4.95
  3. Oxford History of the United States...
    Used Hardcover $11.95
  4. Voices of Freedom: A Documentary... Used Trade Paper $16.00
  5. The American Irish: A Political and... Used Hardcover $2.95
  6. New World Coming: The 1920s and the... Used Hardcover $14.95

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » US History » 1920 to 1960
History and Social Science » US History » 1945 to Present
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » General
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » Western Civilization

Nightmare in Red: The McCarthy Era in Perspective New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$26.25 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195043617 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , According to newspaper headlines and television pundits, the cold war ended many months ago; the age of Big Two confrontation is over. But forty years ago, Americans were experiencing the beginnings of another era--of the fevered anti-communism that came to be known as McCarthyism. During this period, the Cincinnati Reds felt compelled to rename themselves briefly the "Redlegs" to avoid confusion with the other reds, and one citizen in Indiana campaigned to have The Adventures of Robin Hood removed from library shelves because the story's subversive message encouraged robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. These developments grew out of a far-reaching anxiety over communism that characterized the McCarthy Era.

Richard Fried's Nightmare in Red offers a riveting and comprehensive account of this crucial time. He traces the second Red Scare's antecedents back to the 1930s, and presents an engaging narrative about the many different people who became involved in the drama of the anti-communist fervor, from the New Deal era and World War II, through the early years of the cold war, to the peak of McCarthyism, and beyond McCarthy's censure to the decline of the House Committee on Un-American Activities in the 1960s. 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. McCarthy. 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. 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.

Providing the most complete history of the rise and fall of the phenomenon known as McCarthyism, Nightmare in Red shows that it involved far more than just Joe McCarthy.

"Synopsis" by , Providing the most complete history of the rise and fall of the phe-nomenon known as McCarthyism, Nightmare in Red offers a riveting and comprehensive account of the many different people who became embroiled in the anti-communist fervor of mid-century America. It traces the second Red Scare's antecedents from the 1930s, to the early years of the Cold War, through the peak of the McCarthy era, and beyond McCarthy's censure to the decline of the House Committee on Un-American Activities in the 1960s.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.