Red Scare: Memories of the American Inquisition: An Oral History

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Red Scare: Memories of the American Inquisition: An Oral History

Author: Griffin Fariello
Publisher: Avon Books
Copyright: 1996
Pages: 575
Cover Price: $ 15.00

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For many, the anti-Communist hysteria that began in the 1940s has been lost in the dustbin of history - an era remembered, if at all, by fading photograpbs of Joe McCarthy, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and J. Edgar Hoover. Red Scare is a remarkable document of an era that altered forever the American political landscape, a time when one's beliefs and associations could lead to financial ruin and a prison cell. Red Scare is a riveting portrayal of grim repression and stubborn resistance, narrated by veterans from both sides of the Inquisition. Here are bloody Peekskill, the infamous blacklists of Hollywood, and the tyranny of government investigators. Red Scare reveals how the hunt for the "disloyal" penetrated every rank of American life from professors and scientists to school teachers and union members and throughout all levels of government. Arthur Miller, Ring Lardner, Jr., Kay Boyle, and Pete Seeger join more than sixty others to reveal the terrible price extracted by the Cold War at home, ordinary men and women who braved ruination for their faith in America's ideals. Here too are the stories of the hounds who hunted them - the FBI agent, the paid informer, the security man - and of the children caught in the ideological cross-fire. Together they create a tapestry of historic importance, capturing firsthand the sorrow, the rage, and the heroism of one of America's darkest hours.

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Background Information

Joseph McCarthy was an obscure senator from Wisconsin until he discovered the power of unfounded accusations against supposed Communist sympathizers. J. Edgar Hoover was the first director of the FBI and remained in the post for the rest of his life, acquiring enormous and possibly corrupt power. During the McCarthy era, those in Hollywood who refused to cooperate with his committee were placed on a blacklist and found themselves unable to work in the movie industry. The Federal Bureau of Investigation became famous during its campaigns against organized crime during Prohibition and the Great Depression.