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McCarthyism: The Red Scare
     

McCarthyism: The Red Scare

by Brian Fitzgerald, Katie Van Sluys (Consultant), Derek Shouba (Consultant)
 

In 1950, the United States was gripped by a fear of communism. The Soviet Union had expanded its communist influence, and news of Soviet nuclear testing had many Americans fearing for their lives. Contributing to the hysteria was Joseph McCarthy, a senator from Wisconsin who made headlines by claiming that Communist spies were working in the U.S. government. The

Overview

In 1950, the United States was gripped by a fear of communism. The Soviet Union had expanded its communist influence, and news of Soviet nuclear testing had many Americans fearing for their lives. Contributing to the hysteria was Joseph McCarthy, a senator from Wisconsin who made headlines by claiming that Communist spies were working in the U.S. government. The fear and mistrust of this "Red Scare" affected people in all walks of life. It appeared as if no one was safe from investigation.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
The "Snapshots in History" series aims to acquaint middle readers with some significant historic events of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Its authors face a challenge: how to make the narrative interesting to students lacking the background in history and politics that would help them fill in gaps left by compressing complex stories into eight short chapters. Though aided by photographs, sidebars, and quotations, some succeed better than others. This title about McCarthyism introduces readers to the career of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his manic hunt for "Reds," as well as something of the political climate in mid-twentieth-century America. Author Fitzgerald gives a capsule view of the development of the Communist party in the U.S., including the still controversial spying cases of the Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss. He points out that many people suffered from McCarthy's interrogations and subsequent blacklisting (mentioning the "Hollywood Ten" and Robert Oppenheimer), though effects might have been made more vivid by an examination of the cases of artists like Jerome Robbins or Elia Kazan. While global events (the Berlin airlift and Soviet development of an atomic bomb) added to the fear of Communism in America, McCarthy was finally done in by his obnoxious bullying and his lack of solid evidence. When General Zwicker, broadcaster Edward R. Murrow, and attorney Joseph Welch denounced him, McCarthy's career was over. Fitzgerald highlights the lesson that fear and hysteria often lead to loss of basic civil rights. Each title contains a time line, a bibliography, a glossary, and source notes.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Packed with information, these books succinctly cover major events during their respective periods. Sidebars and bracketed box quotes highlight important information and thoughts without breaking the flow of the narrative. Average-quality black-and-white and color photographs and illustrations are spread throughout. McCarthyism vividly portrays the fear of Communism in the U.S., beginning after the Russian Revolution. This book shows, in clear language, how McCarthy spread paranoia throughout the country and ruined many lives and careers. Quotes from the Army-McCarthy hearings illustrate how the senator's techniques eventually contributed to his official censure and loss of power. Soviet Union describes leaders, their plans, and their ultimate downfalls, from the removal of Tsar Nicholas II to the problems of present-day Russia. These books are great for research, providing brief but comprehensive views of their topics.-Marilyn Fairbanks, Azure IRC, Brockton High School, MA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780756520076
Publisher:
Capstone Press
Publication date:
09/01/2006
Series:
Snapshots in History Series
Pages:
24
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
1040L (what's this?)
Age Range:
11 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Stephanie Fitzgerald has been writing nonfiction for children for more than 10 years. Her specialties include history, wildlife, and popular culture. Stephanie is currently working on a picture book with the help of her daughter, Molly.

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