Many Are The Crimes

Many Are The Crimes

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by Ellen Schrecker, Schrecker
     
 

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From an award-winning McCarthy scholar comes the first post-Cold War exploration of the anticommunist witch-hunt and its devastating impact. Tracing the way that a network of dedicated anticommunists created blacklists and destroyed organizations, this broadbased inquiry reveals the connections between McCarthyism's disparate elements in the belief that

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Overview

From an award-winning McCarthy scholar comes the first post-Cold War exploration of the anticommunist witch-hunt and its devastating impact. Tracing the way that a network of dedicated anticommunists created blacklists and destroyed organizations, this broadbased inquiry reveals the connections between McCarthyism's disparate elements in the belief that understanding its terrible mechanics can prevent a repetition. of photos.

Editorial Reviews

Thomas C. Reeves
Many are the Crimes is well written and admirable researched. Schrecker is thoughtful and sophisticated....[She] is at her best when describing the often immoral and illegal tactics of McCarthyites... -- New York Times Book Review
Library Journal
Why did so many Americans collaborate with the domestic political repression of the late 1940s and 1950s, asks Schrecker (The Age of McCarthyism, St. Martin's, 1994), who argues that McCarthyism was far more than the antics of Wisconsin's Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908-57). Schrecker exposes several McCarthyisms, identifying separate brands with separate agendas and ways of operating whose shared consensus on communism mediated their collaboration. Probing the many corners where McCarthyism prowled, she fingers a set of professional anti-Communists who deftly maneuvered federal officials under the guise of patriotism to adopt the indiscriminate crusade that treated dissent as disloyalty. Her focus is sharp and sweeping and her sources broad, ranging from the FBI, HUAC, NSA, and the KGB to the personal papers of various individuals. Schrecker's deft reconstruction of the longest wave of political repression in our history is recommended for all collections on U.S. history and politics.Thomas Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe
Kirkus Reviews
It is no easy task bringing new life to an era already as dissected as the McCarthy era, yet this is what Schrecker (History/Yeshiva Univ.; No Ivory Tower, 1986, etc.) accomplishes in a magnificent study of how and why McCarthyism happened and how its shadow still darkens our lives. McCarthyism, for the author, was no historical anomaly, nor was it the latest version of American populist anti-intellectualism, as the liberal explanation at the time would have it. It was, rather, a right-wing conspiracy, and a particularly effective one: þthe most widespread and longest lasting wave of political repression in American history.þ This disparate group of persons and organizations included, among others, ambitious politicians (think Nixon), the American Legion, former Communists, anti-union business leaders, Catholic trade-union activists, and (connecting and coordinating it all) Hoover and the FBI. Together, they were able to create and propagate an image of American Communists as not merely dissenters but as a dangerous monolithic presence whose very existence threatened the safety and security of the US. Convinced of American Communism's absolute evilþa stereotype based in part on the party's very real proclivities for secrecy, prevarication, and fealty to Moscowþany repression could be seen as necessary. Most provocative is Schreckerþs analysis of the legacy of McCarthyism. Quite simply, she notes, "McCarthyism destroyed the left." Organized labor was tamed, dissenting voices on foreign policy were silenced, scholarship was rendered obedient to the prevailing political winds, popular culture became vapid and monochromatic. But the deepest loss was of anAmerican tradition in which activism and outrage were a vigorous part of the political culture. When a new left did emerge in the 1960s, it had no immediate predecessors to learn from, for a whole generation of activists had been lost. This is a marvelous and chilling work; it reminds us how easily democratic processes can be jettisoned in the name of national security. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316774703
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
11/15/2006
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
600
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
13 Years

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Alan Brinkley
A fresh and compelling explanation of a much-debated topic.

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