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The Age of Anxiety: McCarthyism to Terrorism

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The Age of Anxiety: McCarthyism to Terrorism Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For five long years in the 1950s, Senator Joseph McCarthy and his anti-Communist crusade dominated the American scene, terrified politicians, and destroyed the lives of thousands of our citizens. In this masterful history, Haynes Johnson re-creates that time of crisis-of President Eisenhower, who hated McCarthy but would not attack him; of the Republican senators who cynically used McCarthy to win their own elections; of Edward R. Murrow, whose courageous TV broadcast began McCarthy's downfall; and of mild-mannered lawyer Joseph Welch, who finally shamed McCarthy into silence.

Johnson tells this monumental story through the lens of its relevance to our own time, when fear again affects American behavior and attitudes, for he believes now, as then, that our civil liberties, our Constitution, and our nation are at stake as we confront the ever more difficult task of balancing the need for national security with that of personal liberty.

Compelling narrative history, insightful political commentary, and intimate personal remembrance combine to make The Age of Anxiety a vitally important book for our time.

Extremism-and the suspicion and hatred it engenders-may be Joe McCarthy's most lasting legacy . . . For these and other reasons, while McCarthy and the leading players of his time- Truman and Acheson, Eisenhower and Nixon, the Kennedy brothers and LBJ, Cohn and Schine, Stalin and Mao-have long since passed from the scene, McCarthyism remains a story without an end. -f rom the book.

Review:

"Pulitzer-winning journalist Johnson (The Best of Times) offers an engrossing account of the career of red-baiting demagogue Joseph McCarthy and a chilling description of his legacy for today. The focus is on the disturbing questions raised by McCarthyism: how could a little-known freshman senator, driven by Cold War paranoia, quickly amass the power to intimidate senior colleagues, bully the media, terrorize innocent citizens and even threaten two respected presidents? Why did fellow Republicans not reject his sleazy, dishonest tactics when they were personally revolted by them? Most urgently, are we seeing the birth of a new 'age of anxiety,' in which terrorism replaces communism as the bogeyman? Johnson's answer is clearly yes. He traces the current climate in Washington directly to the 1950s: 'McCarthyism was a major factor in the rise of the radical Right and the polarization that plagues American life, pitting group against group and region against region, sowing cynicism and distrust, and manipulating public opinion through fear and smear.' He reviews recent events, including the use of the Patriot Act to stifle dissent, the abuse and detention of thousands of American Muslims guilty of no crime, and politicians' readiness to impugn the patriotism of opponents without evidence. Johnson's own critique is not ideological; rather, his most important argument may be that ideological polarization continues to prevent us from rationally assessing and dealing with real threats. 8 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW. Agent, Philippa Brophy. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Book News Annotation:

Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Johnson (journalism, U. of Maryland) has written five best-selling books. Here, in part narrative, part political and social commentary, and part personal memoir he retells the reign of terror in the 1950s called McCarthyism and examines how it shaped the context for today's Global War on Terror. McCarthyism stands as a warning, he says, of what can happen when fears and anxieties combine to create hysteria in public and political life.
Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Book News Annotation:

Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Johnson (journalism, U. of Maryland) has written five best-selling books. Here, in part narrative, part political and social commentary, and part personal memoir he retells the reign of terror in the 1950s called McCarthyism and examines how it shaped the context for today's Global War on Terror. McCarthyism stands as a warning, he says, of what can happen when fears and anxieties combine to create hysteria in public and political life. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

For five long years in the 1950s, Senator Joseph McCarthys  anti-Communist crusade dominated the American scene, terrified politicians, and destroyed the lives of thousands of U.S. citizens.
 
In The Age of Anxiety, now updated with a new afterword, Johnson tells this monumental story through the lens of its relevance to our own time, when the current administra­tion has created a culture of fear that again affects American behavior and attitudes. He believes now, as then, that our civil liberties, our Constitution, and our nation are at stake as we confront the ever more difficult task of balancing the need for national security with that of personal liberty.

Synopsis:

Compelling narrative history, insightful political commentary, and intimate personal remembrance combine to make "The Age of Anxiety" a vitally important look at Senator Joseph McCarthy and his 1950s anti-Communist crusade.

About the Author

Haynes Johnson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of the bestsellers Sleepwalking Through History and The Bay of Pigs. He is a regular on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and lives in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

Contents

To the Reader xi

Prologue A NEW KIND OF WAR 1

PART ONE

McCarthyism

1. The List 9

2. Tail Gunner Joe 30

3. Progressivism to McCarthyism 56

4. The Remarkable Upstart 75

5. The Way to Wheeling 81

PART TWO

The Past as Prologue

6. In the Beginning 95

7. Cold Warriors 117

PART THREE

Dealing With a Demagogue

8. The Press 137

9. The Politicians 149

10. The Network 162

11. The Opposition 177

12. The Demagogue 193

PART FOUR

Prelude to Power

13. Twenty Years of Treason 211

14. Taking More Scalps 241

15. Junketeering Gumshoes 253

PART FIVE

Witch Hunts

16. Inquisitions 285

17. The Case of Private Schine 332

18. Point of Order! 381

19. "Have You No Shame, Senator?" 413

PART SIX

Judgment

20. Belling the Cat 431

21. Oblivion 443

PART SEVEN

Legacy

22. The Politics of Fear 459

23. Parallels 466

24. A House Divided 494

Epilogue THE AGE OF ANXIETY 515

About Sources 530

Source Notes 532

Bibliographical Notes 569

Acknowledgments 581

Index 583

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

michaelintp, May 20, 2008 (view all comments by michaelintp)
“The Age of Anxiety” is unapologetic from the outset in displaying the biased perspective of its author. The flood of vitriolic adjectives flowing from its pages reveals that Haynes Johnson is not a historian, but rather a partisan ideologue who engages in tactics remarkably similar to those he attributes to Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Through the fog of his hyperbole, Johnson looks at the 1950s without having to dwell on inconvenient figures like Alger Hiss, who really was guilty after all. In a 500-page book, Mr. Johnson only fleetingly mentions the Venona Project, which documented plenty of Soviet espionage and Communist treason during the McCarthy Era.

The Venona Project was a top-secret program that began in 1943 in which Soviet cables between KGB offices in Moscow and the United States were decoded. The decryptions from the Venona Project were first released on July 11, 1995, close to half a century after Senator McCarthy delivered his speech concerning subversives in the State Department. They have provided insight into the depth of Communist espionage in America, including in senior government positions. The full extent of this treason will never be known. Less than half of those found in Venona were identified, amounting to over 150 unknown spies. Communist subversion within the government was a reality, not a McCarthy myth.

For anyone interested in the McCarthy Era and its implications for today, this book is an amusing diversion. However, for purposes of obtaining a rounded picture of the historical reality, it should only be read in conjunction with “Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies” by M. Stanton Evans and “Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the Life and Legacy of America's Most Hated Senator” by Arthur Herman. The former is available at Powell's Books.

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Product Details

ISBN:
9780151010622
Subtitle:
McCarthyism to Terrorism
Editor:
Silberman, James H.
Author:
Johnson, Haynes
Author:
Johnson, Haynes Bonner
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Terrorism
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Political History
Subject:
Legislators
Subject:
United States - 20th Century/50s
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - General
Subject:
Government - National
Subject:
Political Ideologies - General
Subject:
POL030000
Subject:
United states
Subject:
United States Politics and government.
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20051003
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
One 8-page b/w insert
Pages:
624
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 2.14 lb

Related Subjects

Biography » General
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

The Age of Anxiety: McCarthyism to Terrorism
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 624 pages Harcourt - English 9780151010622 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Pulitzer-winning journalist Johnson (The Best of Times) offers an engrossing account of the career of red-baiting demagogue Joseph McCarthy and a chilling description of his legacy for today. The focus is on the disturbing questions raised by McCarthyism: how could a little-known freshman senator, driven by Cold War paranoia, quickly amass the power to intimidate senior colleagues, bully the media, terrorize innocent citizens and even threaten two respected presidents? Why did fellow Republicans not reject his sleazy, dishonest tactics when they were personally revolted by them? Most urgently, are we seeing the birth of a new 'age of anxiety,' in which terrorism replaces communism as the bogeyman? Johnson's answer is clearly yes. He traces the current climate in Washington directly to the 1950s: 'McCarthyism was a major factor in the rise of the radical Right and the polarization that plagues American life, pitting group against group and region against region, sowing cynicism and distrust, and manipulating public opinion through fear and smear.' He reviews recent events, including the use of the Patriot Act to stifle dissent, the abuse and detention of thousands of American Muslims guilty of no crime, and politicians' readiness to impugn the patriotism of opponents without evidence. Johnson's own critique is not ideological; rather, his most important argument may be that ideological polarization continues to prevent us from rationally assessing and dealing with real threats. 8 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW. Agent, Philippa Brophy. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
For five long years in the 1950s, Senator Joseph McCarthys  anti-Communist crusade dominated the American scene, terrified politicians, and destroyed the lives of thousands of U.S. citizens.
 
In The Age of Anxiety, now updated with a new afterword, Johnson tells this monumental story through the lens of its relevance to our own time, when the current administra­tion has created a culture of fear that again affects American behavior and attitudes. He believes now, as then, that our civil liberties, our Constitution, and our nation are at stake as we confront the ever more difficult task of balancing the need for national security with that of personal liberty.
"Synopsis" by , Compelling narrative history, insightful political commentary, and intimate personal remembrance combine to make "The Age of Anxiety" a vitally important look at Senator Joseph McCarthy and his 1950s anti-Communist crusade.

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