Deadly Farce: Harvey Matusow and the Informer System in the McCarthy Era

Deadly Farce: Harvey Matusow and the Informer System in the McCarthy Era

by Robert M. Lichtman, Ronald Cohen
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

A history of one the McCarthy Era's most infamous witnesses—and his sensational recantation that changed the systemSee more details below

Overview

A history of one the McCarthy Era's most infamous witnesses—and his sensational recantation that changed the system

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Harvey Matusow's life story is strange, even bizarre.  Lichtman and Cohen have presented it with all its contridictions and inconsistencies."—Jewish Journal

"An eye-opening biographical account of one man's role in McCarthy-era history, and his legacy concerning how government informers are treated and regulated to this day."—Bookwatch

"Lichtman and Cohen's devastating documentation of the activities of government officials and prominent anticommunitsts refocuses our understanding of the McCarthy era as a period where the principal concern was not to advance legitimate national security concerns, but to promote a political climate hostile to radicalism, labor activism, and dissent."—Journal of American History

"This is a brilliantly told story of a most unique informer, the figure with the conscience to repudiate his own charges, face down the institutional inquisition now directed toward himself, and try to make up for sins during the rest of his life. . . . The larger scope of this story is the institutional operation of the domestic Cold War, something with more relevance today than at any time during the last 30 years or so . . . . The authors make the point that the Justice Department was behind it all, more sinister than J. Edgar Hoover's operation because its officials made the key decisions to indict and imprison."—Paul Buhle, Left History

"The job of telling [this story] was rendered unusually difficult by Matusow's penchant for lying continuously about practically everything (especially himself), and for repeatedly changing his version of events. Lichtman and Cohen have handled a tough task quite skillfully. Their book is extremely well researched . . . . To be sure, readers will not gain from it a complete understanding of Matusow. No book could provide that. This enigmatic and self-contradictory figure probably did not fully understand himself. Lichtman and Cohen have done as much as mere scholars could, however, to make the twists and turns of Matusow's convoluted life comprehensible. This is a valuable book that makes a small but extremely important contribution to our understanding of the national nightmare painfully remembered as McCarthyism."—American Historical Review

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780252075162
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Publication date:
03/18/2008
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >