According to newspaper headlines and television pundits, the cold war ended many months ago; the age of Big Two confrontation is over. But forty years ago, Americans were experiencing the beginnings of another era--of the fevered anti-communism that came to be known as McCarthyism. During this period, the Cincinnati Reds felt compelled to rename themselves briefly the "Redlegs" to avoid confusion with the other reds, and one citizen in Indiana campaigned to have The Adventures of Robin Hood removed from library shelves because the story's subversive message encouraged robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. These developments grew out of a far-reaching anxiety over communism that characterized the McCarthy Era.
Richard Fried's Nightmare in Red offers a riveting and comprehensive account of this crucial time. He traces the second Red Scare's antecedents back to the 1930s, and presents an engaging narrative about the many different people who became involved in the drama of the anti-communist fervor, from the New Deal era and World War II, through the early years of the cold war, to the peak of McCarthyism, and beyond McCarthy's censure to the decline of the House Committee on Un-American Activities in the 1960s. Along the way, we meet the familiar figures of the period--Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower, the young Richard Nixon, and, of course, the Wisconsin Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. But more importantly, Fried reveals the wholesale effect of McCarthyism on the lives of thousands of ordinary people, from teachers and lawyers to college students, factory workers, and janitors. Together with coverage of such famous incidents as the ordeal of the Hollywood Ten (which led to the entertainment world's notorious blacklist) and the Alger Hiss case, Fried also portrays a wealth of little-known but telling episodes involving victims and victimizers of anti-communist politics at the state and local levels.
Providing the most complete history of the rise and fall of the phenomenon known as McCarthyism, Nightmare in Red shows that it involved far more than just Joe McCarthy.
"An excellent, succinct, balanced account that is packed with details and provocative perspectives. Fried's historical context and many details all especially useful."--Michael A. Gordon, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
"...especially welcome as one of the first, if not the first, general synthetic histories of McCarthyism to appear....augmented by fathomable notes and a very useful bibliographical essay."--Patrick M. Quinn, Wisconsin Magazine of History
"Informed by the best scholarship on the subject, Fried has written a highly useful overview of the entire period....Fried's attempt to be objective, his cogently presented and inclusive overview, and his comprehensible writing make Nightmare in Red and excellent candidate for use in undergraduate classes."--The Journal of American History
"A rogues' gallery of Red Hunters....Fried writes ably, scrupulously presenting both sides of every issue, covering swiftly a very broad topic; no one will ever do a better six-page precis of the Alger Hiss case."--The New York Times Book Review
"Stands out as an even-handed account of an extraordinarily controversial subject. [Fried] succinctly analyzes the major Supreme Court cases, explains how loyalty-security checks actually operated, and follows the investigative escapades of HUAC and the Senate INternal Security Subcommittee."--Leo P. Ribuffo, Dissent
"Like the length and focus on ordinary people, as well as the famous cases. This will be a supplementary required book."--Dorothy E. Desmond, Tabor Academy
"I do not think I have ever read a more terse yet brilliant analysis of the McCarthy era. It is a must read!."--Andrew Harrison, Temple University
"Excellently detailed survey."--Eric Roorda, Ohio University
1. Two Eras and Some Victims
2. Trojan Horses and Fifth Columns
3. "What Do You Think of Female Chastity?" Disloyalty in American Politics
4. The Rise of the Communist Issue
5. The Age Finds Its Name
6. "Bitter Days": The Heyday of Anti-Communism
7. "In Calmer Times..."
Epilogue: Where We Came Out