Haunted by the Washington Witch Hunt

Book - 1993
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Baker & Taylor
Recounts the history of loyalty investigations from 1938 on, describes their effects on their usual targets, middle-level career civil servants, and argues that most of them were strong supporters of the New Deal and few, if any, were actual subversives

Book News
McCarthyism long preceded and long outlasted its progenitor, and its impact extended far beyond the well-known cases. Here, representatives from the thousands of mid-level federal workers whose lives were affected, sometimes ruined, speak of their experiences. Following is an examination of the machinery of red-listing, who the informers were and why, and what the people running the machinery were like. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Blackwell North Amer
In 1938 the United States Congress established the Special House Committee on Un-American Activities, which set into motion, and sanctioned, one of the most insidious and sinister political phenomena in American history - redlisting. Reaching its zenith under the administration of President Truman, red-listing became forever identified with the indefatigable Senator Joseph R. McCarthy and the epithet McCarthyism. But McCarthyism long preceded and long outlasted its progenitor; and its impact extended far beyond the celebrated cases of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Alger Hiss, Judith Coplon, and William Remington.
Red-Listed is a haunting and unforgettable book that tells for the first time the story of the thousands of unknown, dedicated mid-level federal employees whose lives were ruined by redbaiting. Their lives and careers were disrupted and often destroyed by the federal loyalty program ostensibly designed to root out subversives, but which actually succeeded in purging the entire federal government of activist New Dealers. From the mid-thirties through the McCarthy era and into the sixties, untold amounts of energy, funds, and time were wasted on a hunt that never uncovered a single spy or subversive.
Selma Williams tells the stories of average people caught in the frenzy of the McCarthy era, those who were targeted and why - people like Jessica Davidson, an idealistic labor department lawyer who is representative of the more than 12,000 people who, after being investigated and reinvestigated, decided to quit their jobs before the inevitable adverse finding. In the first half of the book, the horror of being red-listed comes to life through the words of the victims themselves. We find out exactly who was being targeted and why. The second half of the book examines how the actual machinery of red-listing worked, who the informers were and why, and what the people running the machinery were like.
Selma Williams has conducted countless interviews and dug deep into loyalty hearing transcripts, FBI files, newspaper clippings, and never-before-published materials from the private files of the victims. From these documents she has created vivid portraits of these individuals. The unforgettable and often wrenching stories in Red-Listed will greatly deepen our understanding of this dark period of American history.

Publisher: Reading, Mass. : Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., c1993
ISBN: 9780201550696
Branch Call Number: 973.918 W675r
Characteristics: xx, 282 p. ; 24 cm


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