Joseph McCarthy was elected Senator for Wisconsin and
rose to public attention when in a 1950 speech he claimed to have in his hand the names of
205 individuals who were active members of the communist party, even within government
From this point on Joseph McCarthy campaigned against
communists and others described as subversive to American interests.
In 1953 Joseph McCarthy became chair of the Senate's
permanent committee of investigation and turned the committee's attention to the pursuit
of communists and subversives (including homosexuals).
Although in control of this committee for a short time
many people were named, many reputations damaged and public expression of dissent was
silenced for a decade.
Deterring Speech: When Is It McCarthyism? When Is It
EUGENE VOLOKH, University of California, Los Angeles - School of Law
Abstract: What may government officials and other actors (businesses, organizations, or
individuals) do to prevent speech that they think to be evil and dangerous?
Some possible actions are uncontroversial; others clearly violate the First Amendment. But
in between lie practices that are contested: May government officials argue that its
political opponents are unwillingly helping evil? May private parties properly use their
economic power to retaliate against those whose views they disapprove of? May the
government subpoena library and bookstore records to help uncover a political criminal's
or terrorist's identity?
These practices may deter - even without legally prohibiting - certain kinds of speech,
and they may even be intended to deter such speech. Yet not all deterrence of speech,
especially through nongovernmental action, is improper. This essay briefly inquires when
such practices really deserve to be labeled McCarthyism, and to be forbidden by the First
Amendment, by statute, or by social norm. -
The New American McCarthyism: Policing Thought about the Middle East
Joel Beinin, Stanford University - Race & Class, Vol. 46, No. 1, 101-115 (2004)
September 11 ushered in a sustained campaign by the American Right and the Bush
administration to delegitimise critical thought about the Middle East, Islam and the Arab
world. The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) has borne much of the brunt of this
campaign, some of it conducted by think-tanks with close links to Israels ruling
circles. Such attacks on MESA date back to 1967 and the Arab-Israeli war.
Ecclesiastical McCarthyism: Cold War Repression in the
Church of England
Author: Kirby, Dianne - Contemporary British History, Volume 19, Number 2, June, 2005
Abstract: The fact that Cold War culture was imbued with a religious dimension had a
profound impact on the conduct of the churches. While it remains difficult to determine
the extent and degree of repression that informed British domestic affairs in the absence
of a study like David Caute's The Great Fear, an examination of how the Church of England
treated its left-wing priests during the McCarthy era illustrates that there was a British
version of McCarthyism. A more insidious phenomenon, it was as able as its American
counterpart to impose conformity, destroy objectivity, polarise opinions and damage the
lives of dissenters from the Cold War consensus. - ingentaconnect.com
Science and McCarthyism, Badash L.
Source: Minerva, Volume 38, Number 1, 2000
Abstract: Students of the `long' McCarthy period in the United States from the late
1940s through the 1950s have paid inadequate attention to the effects of this
oppressive time upon science. Visa and passport denials, loyalty oaths, security
investigations, and other problems placed in the paths of scientists no doubt hindered
science. But they also increased the political maturity of its practitioners, a fact of
which recent events make us particularly aware. - - ingentaconnect.com
Was Operation Red Scare McCarthyism? Michael Aparicio, Philosophy Department -
As the Santa Rosa Junior College school year comes to an end, I suspect Im not the
only person on campus who is hoping to put the Red Star Flyer to rest.
Its an understandable impulse. Personally, Id much rather spend my time
thinking about philosophy, talking with students, worrying about the San Francisco
Giants prospects, and spending quality time with my family.
But as we move on with our lives, I do think its important to think about the
significance of this semesters controversy; for, I believe, there are important
lessons to learn.
I was one of ten S.R.J.C. instructors who were associated with the illegal act of
indoctrinating a preference for overthrowing our government and replacing it with a
Marxist dictatorship. The student group responsible for this created a press release
claiming they did this because we believe certain instructors at SRJC are in
violation of state law. Yet the leader of this group admitted she had no
specific complaints, no threats or specific accusations.
The term McCarthyism often leads to rolled eyes and disapproving grimaces. I
suspect this is because some people believe the term is used too often and recklessly. But
what is McCarthyism? The American Heritage dictionary defines it as The practice of
publicizing accusations of political disloyalty or subversion with insufficient regard for
evidence. The Red Star Incident is a clear case of McCarthyism. The
California College Republicans even created a press release giving it the McCarthyist name
Operation Red Scare.
McCarthyism is not some abstract notion without everyday significance. Such public
accusations can provoke strong emotional reactions both toward the accused and from the
accused. And they should! Political subversion is a serious charge; and publicizing such
accusations with insufficient regard for evidence is reckless, dehumanizing, and
Furthermore, how we respond to McCarthyism matters. Im still dismayed by Dana
Wrights March 2nd column. Despite comparing the Red Star Flyer to the
infamous 1964 Daisy Ad, which he claimed capitalized on peoples
fears by falsely claiming that if Goldwater was elected, there would be a nuclear
war, and despite calling the Red Star Flyer a scarlet
letter, Wright began his column by giving My compliments to the designer of
the scarlet letter that appeared on the doors and windows of several SRJC
And I remain disappointed in Bailey Halls inattentive non-response to
Operation Red Scare. The silence echoes throughout the campus.
On the other hand, The Academic Senate should be commended for its March 16th Red
Star Resolution; and Sonoma State Universitys Academic Senate showed integrity
in its April 11th resolution condemning the Red Star Incident.
So as I approach the end of this semester, and I look forward to putting the Red
Star Incident behind me, I dont want to neglect its lessons. I want to learn
from this ugly episode. I want to forge ahead with a strengthened resolve to identify and
resist McCarthyism when I encounter it. I want to acknowledge those who fail to resist it.
I want to appreciate those who do resist it. And I want to move forward with a deepened
appreciation of such concerns as part of my commitment to democracy.
Prelude to McCarthyism: The Making of a Blacklist - Robert Justin Goldstein
The so-called "Attorney General's List of Subversive Organizations" (AGLOSO) was
one of the most central and widely publicized aspects of the postWorld War II Red
Scare, which has popularly become known as "McCarthyism."
The resultant massive media publicity given to AGLOSO quickly turned it into a
quasi-official blacklist and greatly spurred the development of what later became known as
"McCarthyism"well before Senator McCarthy first made the headlines in
February 1950 with his speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, alleging widespread Communist
infiltration of the State Department.
2004 Threatening Anthropology: McCarthyism and the FBI's Investigation of American
Anthropologists. Duke University Press. -
Book Jacket Propaganda: Threatening Anthropology offers a meticulously detailed account of
how U.S. Cold War surveillance damaged the field of anthropology. David Price reveals how
dozens of activist anthropologists were publicly and privately persecuted during the Red
Scares of the 1940s and 1950s. He shows that it was not Communist Party membership or
Marxist beliefs that attracted the most intense scrutiny from the FBI and congressional
committees but rather social activism, particularly for racial justice. Price draws on
extensive archival researchincluding correspondence, oral histories, published
sources, court hearings, and more than 30,000 pages of FBI and government memorandums
released to him under the Freedom of Information Act. Today the war on terror
is invoked to license the government's renewed monitoring of academic work, and it is
increasingly difficult for researchers to access government documents, as Price's appendix
describing his wrangling with Freedom of Information Act requests reveals. A disquieting
chronicle of censorship and its consequences in the past, Threatening Anthropology is an
impassioned cautionary tale for the present.
Anthropologists on Trial: The Lessons of McCarthyism
Presented at a session co-organized with Bill Peace on The Intersection of Politics
and Anthropology at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association,
November 1997. - David H. Price, St. Martins College, email@example.com
There is a basic historical truism that goes something like this: Events have to become
the past before they can become historyand some events have to become more of the
past than others before it is safe for them to become historicized. The intersection of
the Cold War, McCarthyism and anthropology seems to be one of those events which required
a prolonged period of decomposition before it could be excavated and examined in an
Threatening Academic Freedom Under McCarthyism and the Patriot Act
Distinguished Speaker Series, University of Chicago Alumni Association, Microsoft Campus,
Redmond, Washington. October 26, 2005
Key sources: The Loyalty of Free Men (New York: Pocket Books, 1952); Carl Bernstein,
Loyalties: A Son's Memoir (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989); Eleanor Bontecou, The
Federal-Loyalty Security Program (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1953); David
Caute, The Great Fear: The Anti-Communist Purge under Truman and Eisenhower (New York:
Simon & Schuster, 1978); Clark Clifford, Counsel to the President: A Memoir (New York:
Random House, 1991); Richard Freeland, The Truman Doctrine and the Origins of McCarthyism:
Foreign Policy, Domestic Politics, and Internal Security, 19461948 (New York:
Schocken, 1974); Richard Fried, Nightmare in Red: The McCarthy Era in Perspective (New
York: Oxford University Press, 1990); Robert Griffith and Athan Theoharis, eds., The
Spector: Original Essays on the Cold War and the Origins of McCarthyism (New York: New
Viewpoints, 1974); Alan Harper, The Politics of Loyalty: The White House and the Communist
Issue, 19461952 (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1969); Athan Theoharis, Seeds of
Repression: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of McCarthyism (Chicago: Quadrangle, 1971);
Francis Thompson, The Frustration of Politics: Truman, Congress, and the Loyalty Issue,
19451953 (Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1979); and Michael
Ybarra, Washington Gone Crazy: Senator Pat McCarran and the Great American Communist Hunt
(Hanover, NH: Steerforth, 2004).