Joseph McCarthy was born to a poor Irish Catholic
farm family in Appleton, Wisconsin. A hyperactive, extroverted youth, he dropped out of school after eighth grade to start
his own poultry business. After the chickens all died, he enrolled in the local public high school. Thanks to enormous
energy and a retentive mind, he finished his coursework in less than a year at age 20. After two undergraduate years at
Marquette University, a leading Jesuit school in Milwaukee, McCarthy entered Marquette Law School, acquiring the rudiments of the profession that he soon used to knit together a
statewide network among Irish and German Catholics. McCarthy was a practicing Catholic his entire life, but rarely referred
to religion or ethnicity in his speeches. He actively supported President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Young Democrats, but did not join Irish organizations.
in his 1936 race for district attorney, McCarthy displayed remarkable campaign abilities and an astonishing memory for faces.
He had the energy and determination to meet every voter in person, exuding charm and a concern for the voter as an individual.
The same tactics paid off in 1939, when he was successful in a nonpartisan contest for a regional judgeship.
The youngest judge in state history, he worked long hours to clear up a large backlog. He administered justice promptly
and with a combination of legal knowledge and good sense. He was still a Democrat, but that party was very weak statewide
at the time.
Joseph McCarthy in the U.S. Marine Corps
In 1942 McCarthy, volunteered for the Marines (as a judge he was draft exempt), becoming an intelligence officer in an aviation unit heavily engaged in combat in the
South Pacific. Although assigned a desk job McCarthy flew numerous combat missions as a tail gunner—he exaggerated
the number to qualify for a Distinguished Flying Cross.
During his 30 months
of military service, McCarthy's record was unanimously praised by his commanding officers and Admiral Chester Nimitz, commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet. Admiral Nimitz issued the following citation regarding the service of Captain
“ || For meritorious and efficient performance
of duty as an observer and rear gunner of a dive bomber attached to a Marine scout bombing squadron operating in the Solomon Islands area from September 1 to December 31, 1943. He participated in a large number of combat missions, and in addition to his
regular duties, acted as aerial photographer. He obtained excellent photographs of enemy gun positions, despite intense
anti-aircraft fire, thereby gaining valuable information which contributed materially to the success of subsequent strikes
in the area. Although suffering from a severe leg injury, he refused to be hospitalized and continued to carry out his duties
as Intelligence Officer in a highly efficient manner. His courageous devotion to duty was in keeping with the highest traditions
of the naval service. || ” |
Elected to Senate, 1946
McCarthy had his name entered in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in 1944, opposing
a well-entrenched incumbent Republican, Alexander Wiley. The absentee war hero ran a strong second, making a name for himself
statewide and making himself available for the 1946 Senate contest.
suddenly changed parties was never explained, but prospects for ambitious Wisconsin politicians were dim inside the poorly
organized Democratic party, for most New Dealers supported the state’s Progressive party. During the war, however, that party collapsed, torn apart between its New Deal domestic liberalism, and its intensely isolationist opposition to Roosevelt’s foreign policy. Increasingly out
of touch with Wisconsin, its leader Robert LaFollette Jr. looked to his family’s past glories and made the blunder of trying for reelection to the Senate in 1946 as a Republican.
"Tail Gunner Joe," as his posters called him, endlessly crisscrossed
Wisconsin while LaFollette remained in Washington, offered an alternative in the Republican primary to old guard Republicans
who had opposed the Lafollettes for a half century. McCarthy brilliantly captured the frustrations citizens felt about
massive strikes, unstable economy, price controls, severe shortages of housing and meat, and the growing threat of from
the far left in the CIO. He nipped LaFollette in the primary. The slogan “Had Enough?—Vote Republican” gave the Republicans
a landslide all across the North, electing a new junior senator from Wisconsin.
In Washington, McCarthy was a mainstream conservative in domestic policy, and, like many veterans, was an internationalist
in foreign affairs, supporting the Marshall Plan and NATO. His speeches rarely mentioned domestic Communism or flaming issues like the Alger Hiss espionage case, but that suddenly changed in early 1950 when his vivid anti-Communist rhetoric drew national attention. "The issue between the Republicans and Democrats is clearly drawn. It has been deliberately
drawn by those who have been in charge of twenty years of treason.” Alleging there were many card-carrying Communists
in U. S. President Harry S. Truman’s State Department, McCarthy forced a Senate investigation led by Millard Tydings, Democrat of Maryland. McCarthy named numerous suspect diplomats but failed to convince the three Democrats on the panel; they concluded his
allegations were “a fraud and a hoax,” while the two Republicans dissented. McCarthy retaliated by campaigning
against Tydings, who was defeated for reelection in November 1950. What the senator himself called McCarthyism was a factor
in key races across the country; all his candidates won and his stock soared. A few weeks later American forces were crushed
by the Chinese in Korea, and in spring 1951 Truman tried to shift the blame by firing General Douglas MacArthur.
Catholics and Kennedys
The great majority of Catholics
were anti-Communist, but they were also loyal Democrats, so to enlarge his base McCarthy, a Republican, needed an alliance
with anti-Communist Catholics. The Catholic bishops and the Catholic press was "among McCarthy's most fervid supporters."
A major connection was with the powerful Kennedy family, which had very high visibility among all Catholics in the Northeast. Well before he became famous McCarthy became closely associated with Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.. He was a frequent guest at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port and at one point dated Joe's daughter Patricia. After
McCarthy became nationally prominent, Kennedy was a vocal supporter and helped build McCarthy's popularity among Catholics.
Kennedy contributed cash and encouraged his friends to give money. Some historians have argued that in the Senate race of
1952, Joe Kennedy and McCarthy made a deal that McCarthy would not make campaign speeches for the Republican ticket in Massachusetts, and in return, Congressman and future U.S. President John F. Kennedy would not give anti-McCarthy speeches. In 1953 McCarthy hired Robert Kennedy as a senior staff member. When the Senate voted to censure McCarthy in 1954, Senator Kennedy was in the hospital and never
indicated then or later how he would vote; he told associates he could not vote against McCarthy because of the family ties.
In 1950, McCarthy discussed his upcoming 1952 campaign with three fellow Catholics (Father
Edmund A. Walsh and Charles H. Kraus of Georgetown University and Washington attorney Wiliam A. Roberts). Kraus had recommended Father Walsh's recent books dealing with Communism
to McCarthy, and was hoping to interest McCarthy in the problems of Communism in the world. McCarthy's reputation among
the voters was not good at that time, due to various ethical and tax violation problems, and he needed an issue that would
help improve his chances of re-election. He latched enthusiastically onto the idea of attacking Communists in the government.
Subsequently, McCarthy called Willard Edwards of the Chicago Tribune asking for assistance with a speech on Communism. Edwards sent some materials, including a copy of a letter written
on July 26, 1946, by James F. Byrnes, Secretary of State under Truman. This letter was the central support for McCarthy's subsequent claims to have a list
of Communists in the government.
- "Pursuant to
Executive Order, approximately 4,000 employees have been transferred... Of those 4,000 employees, the case histories of
approximately 3,000 have been subjected to a preliminary examination, as a result of which a recommendation against permanent
employment has been made in 284 cases by the screening committee... Of the 79 actually separated from the service, 26 were
aliens and therefore under "political disability" with respect to employment in the peacetime operations of the
Department. I assume that factor alone could be considered the principal basis for their separation."
This document was repeatedly cited by McCarthy as the basis for his accusations;
unfortunately, there was no list at that time.
McCarthy now became one of the dominant
leaders in American politics, with strong support among both Republicans and Catholic Democrats, as he alleged that Truman’s
top people had betrayed America. He singled out Secretary of State Dean Acheson and Secretary of Defense George Marshall. Liberals were aghast; Truman had picked General Marshall to head the State and Defense departments precisely because
he thought the elderly statesman would always be above criticism, no matter that China turned from a staunch ally to a bitter
enemy on his watch. McCarthy’s blistering attacks on Marshall as “part of a conspiracy so immense, an infamy
so black, as to dwarf any in the history of man” fueled the belief he was a wild-man, a pathological liar who overstepped
the bounds of political discourse.
With Dwight D. Eisenhower crusading against “Korea, Communism and Corruption” in 1952, Republican victory was assured. As a senior member
of the majority party McCarthy for the first time became a committee chairman, with control of staffing and agenda. He
used his Government Operations Committee to open highly publicized hearings in 1953-54 alleging disloyalty in the State
Department, the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the U.S. Information Agency, and finally the Army. His furious attacks on the Army led to the televised “Army-McCarthy”
hearings in spring 1954, which exposed his bullying tactics to a national audience. As McCarthy’s poll rating plunged,
his enemies finally pulled together to introduce a censure resolution focused on charging McCarthy with contempt for the
federal government, and especially for his fellow senators.
charges that over-educated liberals tolerated Communism at home and abroad had stung the liberals. He alleged that they
had corruptly sold out the national interest to protect their upper class privileges, and were so idealistic about world
affairs that they radically underestimated the threat posed by Soviet dictator Stalin, his spies, and the worldwide Communist movement. Instead of refuting the allegations, Liberals tried one of two approaches.
Some became intensely anti-Communist and claimed they were more effective than McCarthy and the Republicans in eliminating
Communism in the unions and Democratic party, and in containing the Stalinist menace in Europe. The other approach was
to counterattack, to charge that “McCarthyism” never found a single spy but hurt innocent people in hunting for
nonexistent witches; thus it represented an evil betrayal of American values. In an appeal to upscale conservatives and
liberal intellectuals, critics ignored the Communist infiltration of labor unions and liberal causes and focused on stereotyping
anticommunists as ill-mannered ignorant troglodytes, oblivious to American traditions of free speech and free association.
McCarthy’s exaggerations and false charges encouraged opponents to stress the second approach, but it escalated the
controversy to a pitch of hatreds and fears unprecedented since the days of Reconstruction.
McCarthy’s superb sense
of timing and his media instincts kept his partisan attacks on the front page every day; his willingness to do battle in
the hustings with Democratic opponents across the country strengthened his base in the Republican party. His religion and
ethnicity, refreshed with highly visible friendships with leading Irish Catholics, especially the Kennedy family, bolstered
his standing among Democrats. According to Gallup, McCarthy’s popularity crested in January 1954, when he was endorsed
by all voters 50-29 (with 21 having no opinion). His core support came from Republicans and Catholics who had not attended
McCarthy, however, failed to create any sort of grass roots organization.
He had no organizational skills; he did not effectively use his talented staffers (such as Robert Kennedy). He was a loner who lurched from issue to issue, misled by the enormous media publicity into believing that a one-man
crusade was possible in an increasingly well-educated complex society honeycombed with local, regional and national organizations.
By operating within the Republican party apparatus he lost the opportunity to create an independent grass roots political
crusade in the style of Teddy Roosevelt, Huey Long, or Ross Perot. He never launched his own magazine or radio show or formed alliances with publishers who agreed with him.
McCarthy’s strained relations with Senate colleagues created a trapdoor. It was sprung after many Republicans
realized that he had shifted the attack away from the Democrats. What use was his slogan “20 Years of Treason”
once Eisenhower was in office? McCarthy’s answer was “21 Years of Treason!” Eisenhower’s supporters
could no longer tolerate such a loose cannon, and as McCarthy unwisely shifted his attacks to Eisenhower’s beloved
Army, his cause was doomed. While many Americans distrusted Ivy League, striped pants diplomats, soldiers were held in high regard; McCarthy’s charges of subversion were flimsy (one Communist
dentist had been automatically promoted); he sabotaged his own reputation by finagling favors for an aide who had been drafted.
The televised hearings proved fatal to an ill-prepared bully. After the Democrats regained control of Congress in the 1954
elections, the censure motion carried, 67-22. McCarthy’s appeal, so widespread yet superficial, evaporated overnight
and the Senator faded into the shadows.
The term "McCarthyism"
McCarthy is permanently associated with the use of the word "McCarthyism" (a
word which he did not coin, but of which he did make use according to a sense more aligned with his actual philosophy) to
mean an aggressive attack on Communists who had infiltrated America and on the liberals who protected them—an attack,
however, without regard for due process. Although the left was unable to make heroes of the people who supported and sometimes
were controlled by Stalin, they did make heroes of opponents of McCarthy, painting him as the internal menace to American
values that was far worse than Communist subversion. Schrecker (1998) sees McCarthyism as anti-Communist political repression
of the early Cold War, and explores its mechanisms through, and what she considers the exaggerated public fears on which
it depended. During the 1940s-1950s, McCarthyism took on a variety of forms with an array of agendas, interested parties,
and modes of operating. Despite its widespread and popular character, it started with the federal government and was driven
by a network of dedicated anti-Communist crusaders such as J. Edgar Hoover, director of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). McCarthyism's repression both responded to and helped create widespread fears of a significant threat to national
Margaret Chase Smith, Republican senator from Maine, gained a national reputation as one of the earliest critics McCarthyism with a Senate speech on June 1, 1950, called "the
Declaration of Conscience." It was an attempt by Smith to address the excesses of McCarthyism, and was widely hailed
as a call to reason by McCarthy's opponents. Smith gave a critique of the American political process and political institutions
in the responses to dissent on the left and the right. Smith, like other McCarthy critics, sought to bring a level of civility
to political protest and dissent. She and many others who objected to the tactics of McCarthy actually believed in the underlying
tenets of his anti-Communist crusade. Their responses to his excesses reflected a desire to narrow the scope of acceptable
Impact on government
argues McCarthy's campaign
“ || |
had a lasting impact on the conduct of
U.S. foreign relations, particularly among professional diplomatic institutions like the State Department and its Foreign Service personnel, and McCarthyism did not disappear with the senator's censure in 1954. The 'ism' in a broad sense was a set of
ideas not only about internal subversion but also about the outside world, including a simplistic, isolationist anti-communism
and a deep suspicion about social reform movements abroad. It stood in open opposition to a more complex, even accommodating,
view of communism. Instead of ending the hunt for subversives begun under Truman, Eisenhower made the search systematic,
universal, and more broadly defined. McCarthyist Scott McLeod took over security and personnel functions of the State Department
and became one of the most famous and despised men in the executive branch. McLeod brought McCarthyist methods and assumptions
to bear in ridding the department of what he defined as security risks. Oral history sources provide key evidence for the
destructive atmosphere within the department in these years, and they shed valuable light on McLeod's impact on the foreign
affairs bureaucracy. In the short term, the Foreign Service declined in morale, prestige, and influence. By 1954, professionally
trained diplomacy, with nuanced, internationalist views lost ground to more simplistic, strictly anticommunist views. During
Eisenhower's second term, the Foreign Service and the more moderate approach experienced a resurgence but still faced opposition
from hard-liners who survived the McCarthy years. The Latin American branch of the department embodied the changes in
professional diplomacy towards one region of the world. Within the division were the institutionalized tensions of the Eisenhower
administration, between career diplomats and political appointees, conservative and moderate anti-communists, and trained
diplomats and other specialists. The U.S. embassy in Cuba showed this internal conflict in a microcosm, as the administration's
response to Latin American revolution evolved after 1954. McCarthyism accompanied Eisenhower into office, and its effects
continued into his last foreign policy crisis and beyond."
| ” |
In California McCarthyism began before the Senator was famous. In 1946 in the Los Angeles schools two teachers from Canoga Park High School were called before the Tenney Senate Investigating Committee on charges
of communistic teaching. The two teachers were exonerated of all charges, but a campaign to rid the LA district of dissident
teachers was effectively launched. The target of the campaign was a group of teachers who belonged to the Los Angeles Federation
of Teachers (LAFT), formerly known as Union Local 430 and chartered under the American Federation of Teachers, until 1948,
when the AFT revoked the charter. By 1954, Los Angeles teachers were required to take five loyalty oaths, although not one
teacher was ever charged with or convicted of subversion. In 1953, the Los Angeles City School Board announced that 304 teachers
were to be investigated because of alleged Communist affiliations. The Dilworth Oath, made law in 1953, required teachers
to answer questions posed to them by the Investigating Committees. Teachers who refused to answer the Committee questions
by claiming their Fifth Amendment rights could then be fired by the Board for insubordination.
Media and popular culture
Historians have debated the degree to which McCarthyism permeated the American mood and popular culture. Anti-Communist
liberals at the time said it played to isolationism (especially strong in McCarthy's Wisconsin) by diverting attention away
from the real threat, Stalin's Soviet Union as an external power. The Left said that they had a First Amendment right to
their beliefs and that McCarthyism had a chilling effect. Dussere (2003) shows that comic strip artist Walt Kelly in "Pogo"
parodied McCarthyism and promoted leftist politics as old-fashioned American common sense, representing a time when concerns
about art and politics with respect to popular culture were in the forefront.
FBI targeted retired film comedian Charlie Chaplin because of his status as a cultural icon and as part of its broader investigation of Hollywood. Some of Chaplin's films
were considered "Communist propaganda," but because Chaplin was a British citizen and was not a member of the
Communist Party, he was not among those investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. Nevertheless, he was vulnerable to protests by the American Legion and other patriotic groups because of both
his sexual and political unorthodoxy. Although countersubversives succeeded in driving Chaplin out of the U.S., they failed
to build a consensus that Chaplin was a threat to the nation. Chaplin's story testifies to both the power of the countersubversive
campaign at mid-century and to some of its limitations.
Strout (1999) looks at The Christian Science Monitor during the McCarthy era (1950-1954); it was a highly influential newspaper at home and abroad. Strout asks: (1) Was the Monitor
a consistent critic of McCarthy? (2) How did the coverage compare to other elite and popular press newspapers? (3) How did
the pressures associated with McCarthyism effect individuals at the Monitor and its news product? An extensive
review of editorials and news articles suggests that it was thorough and fair in reporting, yet outspoken and responsible
in editorial criticism. Mary Baker Eddy's original 1907 statement that, "The purpose of the Monitor is to injure no man, but to bless all mankind,"
was referred to repeatedly in interoffice correspondence during the McCarthy era. The Monitor did not attack McCarthy
personally as other papers did; rather, its criticism centered on the actions of the senator and the negative effects they
were having at home and abroad. The Monitor served as a voice of moderation, yet at the same time, remained a persistent
critic of McCarthy's tactics. Individuals were affected by the pressures of McCarthyism. For instance, veteran Washington
correspondent Richard L. Strout was suspended from covering McCarthy for eight to 12 months after being mentioned in McCarthy's
book, McCarthyism: The Fight for America.
I have in my hand...
FBI Master Chart of distribution in 1945-46 of investigative reports to the White House, Attorney General, and
employing agencies of Communist agents in the Federal government.
It was McCarthy's charges of Communist,
security, and loyalty risk infiltration of the State Department that shot him into prominence in 1950. At a Lincoln Day
speech, on February 9, 1950, before the Republican Women's Club of Wheeling, West Virginia, at the Colonnade Room of Wheeling's McClure Hotel, he stated:
| “ || |
have in my hand 57 cases of individuals who would appear to be either card-carrying members or certainly loyal to the Communist
Party, but who nevertheless are still helping to shape our foreign policy.
| ” |
a list of 57 security risks and publicly named John S. Service, Gustavo Duran, Mary Jane Keeney, Harlow Shapley, and H. Julian Wadleigh as being on the list. These names came from the "Lee List" of unresolved State Department security cases
compiled by the earlier investigators for the House Appropriation Committee in 1947. Robert E. Lee was the committee’s
lead investigator and supervised preparation of the list.
In a six-hour speech on
the Senate floor on February 20, 1950 in which McCarthy was constantly interrupted by hostile senators; four of whom —
Scott Lucas (61 times), Brien McMahon (27 times), Garrett Withers (22 times), and Herbert Lehman (13 times) — interrupted
him a total of 123 times, McCarthy raised the issue of some eighty individuals who had worked in the State Department, or wartime agencies such as the Office of War Information (OWI) and the Board of Economic Warfare (BEW).
McCarthy sought to avoid naming names publicly when possible,
using numbered cases instead of names in public session. He preferred to name his suspects only in executive session, in
order to protect those who might have been erroneously identified by the FBI, State Department Security, Army counterintelligence,
etc. "[I]t would be improper to make the names public until the appropriate Senate committee can meet in executive
session and get them," explained McCarthy. "If we should label one man a Communist when he is not a Communist I
think it would be too bad."
But when McCarthy began reading his
numbered cases to the Senate, the Democrat Majority Leader, Illinois Senator Scott Lucas, interrupted, "I want him to name those Communists." In response to McCarthy's desire not
to name names publicly in order to protect the innocent, Lucas bizarrely referred to the fact that statements in Congress
are privileged against defamation suits, saying, "if those people are not Communists the senator will be protected."
(This was hardly germane: McCarthy's expressed concern was not about protecting himself, but protecting suspects
who might be innocent.) McCarthy responded:
| “ || |
The Senator from
Illinois demanded, loudly, that I furnish all the names. I told him at that time that so far as I was concerned, I thought
that would be improper; that I did not have all the information about these individuals ... I have enough to convince me
that either they are members of the Communist Party or they have given great aid to the Communists: I may be wrong. That
is why I said that unless the Senate demanded that I do so, I would not submit this publicly, but I would submit it to any
committee — and would let the committee go over these in executive session. It is possible that some of these persons
will get a clean bill of health...
Democratic Senator William Benton of Connecticut introduced a bill to eject McCarthy from the Senate. His first charge was that at Wheeling, McCarthy had said that he had
a list of 205 names, rather than 57 names. The Senate (then under Democrat control) sent staff investigators to Wheeling
to try to substantiate Benton's charges. The investigation found no evidence to support Benton's charge. According to one
The newly unearthed evidence demolished Senator Benton’s
charges in all their material respects and thoroughly proved Senator McCarthy’s account of the facts to be truthful.
| ” |
Senate Democrats quietly buried the 44-page staff memo summarizing these findings, but the charge that McCarthy
had said “205” was likewise dropped. Thus the Congressional Record to this day records that McCarthy
said "57," not "205." Nevertheless, many on the left continue to promote Benton's discredited claim as
gospel. Benton made this allegation only about McCarthy's speech in Wheeling, West Virginia and not in the other cities
where he made the speech. The 205 number actually came in another part of his speech; on February 20, 1950, in a speech
made on the floor of the Senate, McCarthy officially clarified the issue:
| “ || I have before me a letter which was reproduced in the Congressional Record on August 1,
1946, at page A4892. It is a letter from James F. Byrnes, former Secretary of State. It deals with the screening of the first
group, of about 3,000. There were a great number of subsequent screenings. This was the beginning. |
letter deals with the first group of 3,000 which was screened. The President—and I think wisely so—set up a board
to screen the employees who were coming to the State Department from the various war agencies of the War Department. There
were thousands of unusual characters in some of those war agencies. Former Secretary Byrnes in his letter, which is reproduced
in the Congressional Record, says this:
Pursuant to Executive order,
approximately 4,000 employees have been transferred to the Department of State from various war agencies such as the OSS [Office of Strategic Services], FEA [Foreign Economic Administration], OWI [Office of War Information], OIAA [Office of Inter-American Affairs], and so forth. Of these 4,000 employees, the case histories of approximately 3,000
have been subjected to a preliminary examination, as a result of which a recommendation against permanent employment has
been made in 285 cases by the screening committee to which you refer in your letter.
In other words, former Secretary Byrnes said that 285 of those men are unsafe risks. He goes on to say that of this
number only 79 have been removed. Of the 57 I mentioned some are from this group of 205, and some are from subsequent groups
which have been screened but not discharged. I might say in that connection that the investigative agency of the State
Department has done an excellent job. The files show that they went into great detail in labeling Communists as such. The
only trouble is that after the investigative agency had properly labeled these men as Communists the State Department refused
to discharge them. I shall give detailed cases.
| ” |
McCarthy was able to characterize
President Truman and the Democratic Party as soft on or even in league with the Communists. McCarthy's allegations were
rejected by Truman who was unaware of Venona project decrypts which corroborated Elizabeth Bentley's debriefing after her defection from the Communists.
According to Gallup, McCarthy’s
popularity crested in January 1954, when he was endorsed by all voters 50-29 (with 21 having no opinion). His core support
came from Republicans and Catholics who had not attended college. On March 9, 1954, CBS broadcasted Edward R. Murrow's See It Now TV documentary attacking McCarthy.
1995, when the Venona transcripts were declassified, further detailed information was revealed about Soviet espionage in the United States.
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was among only a handful of people in the U.S. Government who was aware of the Venona project, and there is no indication
whatsoever Hoover shared Venona information with McCarthy. In fact, Hoover may have actually fed McCarthy disinformation, or dead end files, in an effort to put pressure on relatives, friends, or close associates of real Venona suspects by
threatening to reveal embarrassing information about them in a public forum if they failed to cooperate and reveal what
they might have known about someone's else’s activities and associations. And there is no indication McCarthy might
have known he was being used by Hoover in this way.
On February 7, 1950, three days
before McCarthy's acclaimed Wheeling, West Virginia speech, Hoover testified before House Appropriations Committee that
counterespionage requires "an objective different from the handling of criminal cases. It is more important to ascertain his contacts,
his objectives, his sources of information and his methods of communication" as "arrest and public disclosure
are steps to be taken only as a matter of last resort." He concluded that "we can be secure only when we have a
full knowledge of the operations of an espionage network, because then we are in a position to render their efforts ineffective."
McCarthy is said to have made the claim, "I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were
made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party." The famous "List", as it has
come to be known, has always engendered much controversy. The figure of 205 appears to have come from an oral briefing McCarthy
had with Hoover regarding espionage suspects the FBI was then investigating. The FBI had discovered on its own five Soviet
agents operating in the United States during World War II; defector Elizabeth Bentley further added another 81 known identities
of espionage agents; Venona materials had provided the balance, and by the time a full accounting of true name identities
was compiled in an FBI memo in 1957, one more subject had been added to the number, now totaling 206.
Much confusion has always surrounded the subject. While the closely guarded FBI/Venona information of identified
espionage agents uses the number of 206, McCarthy in his Wheeling speech only referred to Communist Party membership and
other security risks, and not espionage activity. Being a security risk as a Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) member does not necessarily entail or imply that a person was or is actively involved in espionage activity. Venona
materials indicated a very large number of espionage agents remained unidentified by the FBI. When McCarthy was questioned
on the number, he referred to the Lee List of security risks, by which it appears Hoover was attempting to match unidentified
code names to known security risks. Hoover kept the identities of persons known to be involved in espionage activity from
Venona evidence secret. Hoover in the very early days of the FBI's joint investigation with the Army Signals Intelligence Service in May 1946 did precisely the same deception with a confidant of President Truman using Venona decryptions. Hoover reported that a reliable source revealed “an enormous Soviet espionage ring in
Washington.” Of some fourteen names, Soviet agents Alger Hiss and Nathan Gregory Silvermaster were listed well down the list. The name at the top was “Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson” and included others beyond reproach, thus discrediting the Hiss and Silvermaster accusations, which actually were
on target. Hence the Truman White House always suspected Hoover and the FBI of playing partisan political games with accusations
of various administration members’ complicity in Soviet espionage.
project specifically references at least 349 pseudonyms in the United States—including citizens, immigrants, and permanent
residents—who cooperated in various ways with Soviet intelligence agencies, however not all were ever identified.
In public hearings before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) conducted by McCarthy, 83 persons pled the Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination. An additional 9 persons
refused to testify on constitutional grounds in private hearings, and their names were not made public. Of the 83 persons
pleading the Fifth Amendment, several have been identified by NSA and FBI as agents of the Soviet Union in the Venona project involved in espionage. Several prominent examples are:
Venona transcripts confirm the Senate Civil Liberties Subcommittee, chaired by former Senator
Robert LaFollette, Jr., whom McCarthy defeated for election in 1946, had at least four staff members working on behalf of
the KGB. Chief Counsel of the Committee John Abt; Charles Kramer, who served on three other Congressional Committees; Allen Rosenberg, who also served on the National Labor Relations Board, Board of Economic Warfare (BEW), the Foreign Economic Administration (FEA) and later argued cases before the United States Supreme Court; and Charles Flato, who served on the BEW and FEA, all were CPUSA members and associated with the Comintern.
While the underlying premise of Communists in the government was true, many of
McCarthy's targets were not complicit in espionage. Recent scholarship has established of 159 persons investigated between
1950 and 1952, there is substantial evidence nine had assisted Soviet espionage using evidence from Venona or other sources.
Of the remainder, while not being directly complicit in espionage, many were considered security risks.
Known security/loyalty risks
In June 1947, a Senate Appropriations subcommittee addressed a secret memorandum to Secretary
of State George Marshall, calling to his attention a condition that developed and was continuing in the State Department.
The memo stated that
“ || |
it was evident there was a deliberate,
calculated program being carried out not only to protect communist personnel in high places, but to reduce security and
intelligence protection to a nullity. On file in the department is a copy of a preliminary report of the FBI on Soviet espionage
activities in the United States which involved a large number of State Department employees, some in high official positions.
| ” |
Robert E. Lee was the committee’s lead investigator and supervised preparation of
the list. The Lee list, also using numbers rather than names, was published in the proceeding of the subcommittee.
The memorandum listed the names of nine State Department officials and said that they were "only a few of the
hundreds now employed in varying capacities who are protected and allowed to remain despite the fact that their presence
is an obvious hazard to national security." Ten persons were removed from the list by June 24. But from 1947 until
McCarthy's Wheeling speech in February 1950, the State Department did not fire one person as a loyalty or security risk.
In other branches of the government, however, more than 300 persons were discharged for loyalty reasons alone during the
period from 1947 to 1951.
Most but not all of Senator McCarthy’s numbered
cases were drawn from the “Lee List” or “108 list” of unresolved Department of State security cases
compiled by Lee for the House Appropriations Committee in 1947. The Tydings subcommittee also obtained this list. In addition
to some of the person involved in espionage identified in the Venona project listed above, there are other security and loyalty risks identified correctly by Senator McCarthy included in the following
- Robert Warren Barnett & Mrs. Robert Warren Barnett, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #48 and #49 respectively and both are on Lee list as #59;
- Esther Brunauer, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #47 and Lee list #55;
- Stephen Brunauer, U.S. Navy, chemist in the explosive research division;
- Gertrude Cameron, Information and Editorial Specialist in the U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #55 and Lee list #65;
Nelson Chipchin, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's list #23;
- Oliver Edmund Clubb, U.S. State Department;
- John Paton Davies, U.S. State Department, Policy Planning Committee;
- Gustavo Duran, U.S. State Department, assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State in charge of Latin American Affairs, and Chief of
the Cultural Activities Section of the Department of Social Affairs of the United Nations;
- Arpad Erdos, U.S. State Department;
- Herbert Fierst, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's case #1 and Lee list #51;
- John Tipton Fishburn, U.S. State
Department; Lee list #106;
- Theodore Geiger, U.S. State Department;
- Stella Gordon, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #40 and Lee
- Stanley Graze, U.S. State Department intelligence; McCarthy's Case #8 and Lee list #8, brother of Gerald Graze, confirmed in KGB Archives;
Ruth Marcia Harrison, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #7 and Lee list #4;
- Myron Victor Hunt, U.S. State
Department; McCarthy's Case #65 and Lee list #79;
- Philip Jessup, U.S. State Department, Assistant Director for the Naval School of Military Government and Administration at Columbia University
in New York, Delegate to the U.N. in a number of different capacities, Ambassador-at-large, and Chairman of the Institute
of Pacific Relations Research Advisory Committee; McCarthy's Case #15;
- Dorothy Kenyon, New York City Municipal Court Judge, U.S. State Department appointee as American Delegate to the United Nations Commission
on the Status of Women;
- Leon Hirsch Keyserling, President Harry Truman's Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers;
- Mary Dublin Keyserling, U.S. Department of Commerce;
- Esther Less Kopelewich, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case
- Owen Lattimore, Board member of the communist-dominated Institute of Pacific Relations (I.P.R) and editor the I.P.R.’s journal Pacific Affairs;
- Paul A. Lifantieff-Lee, U.S. Naval Department; McCarthy's Case #56 and Lee list #66;
- Val R. Lorwin, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #54 and Lee list #64;
- Daniel F. Margolies, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #41 and Lee list #46;
- Peveril Meigs, U.S. State Department; Department of the Army; McCarthy's Case #3 and Lee list #2;
- Ella M. Montague, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #34 and Lee list #32;
- Philleo Nash, Presidential Advisor, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman administrations;
- Olga V. Osnatch, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #81 and Lee list #78;
- Edward Posniak, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case Number 77;
- Philip Raine, U.S. State Department, Regional Specialist; McCarthy's Case #52 and Lee list #62;
- Robert Ross, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #32 and Lee list #30;
- Sylvia Schimmel, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #50 and Lee list #60;
- Frederick Schumann, contracted by U.S. State Department as lecturer; Professor at Williams College; not on Lee list;
- John S. Service, U.S. State Department;
- Harlow Shapley, U.S. State Department appointee to UNESCO, Chairman of the National Council of Arts, Sciences, and Professions;
William T. Stone, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #46 and Lee list #54;
- Frances M. Tuchser, U.S. State
Department; McCarthy's Case #6 and Lee list #6;
- John Carter Vincent, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #2 and Lee list #52;
- David Zablodowsky, U.S. State Department & Director of the United Nations Publishing Division. McCarthy's Case #103;
Attacks on McCarthy
One of the
most prominent attacks on Senator McCarthy was an episode of the TV documentary series See It Now, hosted by Edward R. Murrow, which was broadcast on March 9, 1954. By the time Murrow produced his "See It Now" assault on Senator McCarthy
in 1954, the senator had been under almost constant vicious attack for four years. According to McCarthy biographer Arthur
Herman, Murrow and his staff had spent two months carefully editing film clips to portray McCarthy in the worst possible
light. There were no clips showing McCarthy in a professional manner. Despite Murrow's claims, this "was not a report
at all but instead a full-scale assault, employing exactly the same techniques of 'partial truth and innuendo' that critics
accused McCarthy of using." The episode consisted largely of clips of McCarthy in the most unflattering context, including
"belching and picking his nose".
In these clips, McCarthy accuses the
Democratic Party of "twenty years of treason" because of the Democratic Party's concessions to the Soviet Union at the Yalta conference and Potsdam conference, describes the American Civil Liberties Union as "listed as 'a front for, and doing the work of,' the Communist Party," and berates General Zwicker for Zwicker's
claim that he would protect any other general who promotes Communists within the military. Murrow also portrays a Pentagon
coding room employee, Annie Lee Moss as an innocent victim of McCarthy even though it was later established that the FBI had warned the Army and the Civil Service
Commission about her Communist Party connection.
However, even some McCarthy critics were outraged by this one-sided
presentation. Consistent McCarthy critic, John Cogley of Commonweal, "sharply attacked Murrow and his producers for their distorted summary and selected use of video clips."
Cogley commented that a different selection of footage could have easily portrayed McCarthy in an extremely positive light
and then further warned against the misuse of television in this fashion. He and another McCarthy critic from the Saturday
Review agreed that it "was not a proud moment for television journalism".
counter the negative publicity, McCarthy appeared on See It Now on April 6, 1954, and presented his case in order
to clarify the misconceptions that Murrow had televised. McCarthy countered that his committee, "has forced out of
government, and out of important defense plants, Communists engaged in the Soviet conspiracy." McCarthy went on to
say, "For example, 238 witnesses were examined [in] public session; 367 witnesses examined [in] executive session; 84
witnesses refused to testify as to Communist activities on the ground that, if they told the truth, they might go to jail;
twenty-four witnesses with Communist backgrounds have been discharged from jobs [in] which they were handling secret, top-secret,
confidential material, individuals who were exposed before our committee." McCarthy also exposed Murrow's left-wing
background and previous associations with Communist organizations.
The Murrow report,
together with the televised Army-McCarthy hearings of the same year, and four years of consistent anti-McCarthy media reporting
were the major causes of a nationwide popular opinion backlash against McCarthy. However, well-known broadcaster Eric Sevareid
said the Murrow assault "came very late in the day.... The youngsters read back, and they think only one person in
broadcasting and the press stood up to McCarthy, and this has made a lot of people feel very upset, including me, because
that program came awfully late."
Even Murrow discounted his role in the decline
of Senator McCarthy's popularity. Murrow stated, "My God, I didn't do anything. (Times columnist) Scotty Reston
and lot of guys have been writing like this, saying the same things, for months, for years. We're bringing up the rear."
Nevertheless, despite the deceptive nature of the See It Now program and the late date in which it appears,
anti-McCarthy historians have credited and celebrated Murrow as playing a major role in damaging Senator McCarthy's campaign
to remove security risks from the U.S. government.
Senate opposition to McCarthy
While over the previous few years, Senator McCarthy had withstood countless biased and
unsubstantiated attacks by Liberals, Communists, etc., who sought to prevent him from damaging their causes any further; the organized and co-ordinated effort between
the two groups to remove McCarthy from his Chairmanship and officially condemn him began in March 1954.
On March 9, 1954 a fellow conservative and anti-communist Republican Senator, Ralph E. Flanders of Vermont, gave a speech criticizing what he felt was Senator McCarthy’s "misdirection of our efforts at fighting communism”
and his role in “the loss of respect for us in the world at large.” Flanders felt the nation should pay more
attention looking outwards at the “alarming world-wide advance of Communist power” that would leave the United
States and Canada as “the last remnants of the free world.” Eisenhower Administration cabinet officials told Flanders to “lay off,” while President Eisenhower sent Flanders a brief note of appreciation
for his speech, but did not otherwise confer with him or explicitly support him. In a June 1, 1954 speech, Flanders emphasized
how the Soviet Union was winning military successes in Asia without risking its own resources or men, and said this nation
was witnessing "another example of economy of effort...in the conquest of this country for communism." He added,
"One of the characteristic elements of communist and fascist tyranny is at hand as citizens are set to spy upon each
other." Flanders told the Senate that McCarthy's "anti-Communism so completely parallels that of Adolf Hitler as to strike fear into the hearts of any defenseless minority"; he accused McCarthy of spreading "division and
confusion" and saying, "Were the Junior Senator from Wisconsin in the pay of the Communists he could not have
done a better job for them."
On June 11, 1954 Flanders introduced a resolution
charging McCarthy “with unbecoming conduct" and calling for his removal from his committee chairmanship. Upon
the advice of Senators John Sherman Cooper and J. William Fulbright and legal assistance from the National Committee for an Effective Congress, a liberal organization, he modified his resolution to “bring it in line with previous actions of censure.”
After introducing his censure motion, Flanders had no active role in the ensuing Watkins Committee hearings. Flanders bore
McCarthy no personal animosity and reported that McCarthy accepted his invitation to join him at lunch after the hearings
had taken place.
McCarthy was accused of 46 different counts of allegedly improper conduct and another special committee was set up, under
the chairmanship of Senator Arthur Watkins, to study and evaluate the charges. This was to be the fifth investigation of Senator McCarthy in five years. This committee
opened hearings on August 31, 1954. After two months of hearings and deliberations, the Watkins Committee recommended that
McCarthy be censured on only two of the original 46 counts. The committee exonerated McCarthy on all substantive charges.
On November 8, 1954, a special session of the Senate convened to debate the two charges. The charges to be debated
and voted on were: 1) That Senator McCarthy had "failed to cooperate" in 1952 with the Senate Subcommitee on Privileges
and Elections that was looking into certain aspects of his private and political life in connection with a resolution for
his expulsion from the Senate; and 2) That in conducting a senatorial inquiry, Senator McCarthy had "intemperately abused"
General Ralph Zwicker.
The Zwicker count was dropped by the full Senate on the
grounds that McCarthy's conduct was arguably "induced" by Zwicker's own behavior. Many senators felt that the
Army had shown contempt for committee chairman McCarthy by disregarding his letter of February 1, 1954 and honorably discharging
Irving Peress the next day. So, for this reason, the Senate concluded that McCarthy's conduct toward Zwicker on February
18 was justified.
Therefore, the Zwicker count was dropped at the last minute and
was replaced with this substitute charge: 2) That Senator McCarthy, by characterizing the Watkins Committee as the "unwitting
handmaiden" of the Communist Party and by describing the special Senate session as a "lynch party" and a
"lynch bee," had "acted contrary to senatorial ethics and tended to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute,
to obstruct the constitutional processes of the Senate, and to impair its dignity."
On December 2, 1954, even though more than a dozen senators told McCarthy that they did not want to vote against
him but had to do so because of the enormous pressure being put on them by the Eisenhower Administration and by leaders of both political parties, the Senate voted to "condemn" Senator Joseph McCarthy on both counts
by a vote of 67 to 22. The Democrats voted unanimously in favor of condemnation and the Republicans split evenly.
The resolution condemning Senator
McCarthy has been criticized as a ridiculous attempt to silence the strongest voice in the Senate investigating security
and loyalty risks in the U.S. government. When examined closely, the two counts used in condemning McCarthy were hopelessly
In analyzing the first count, "failure to cooperate with the Subcommittee
on Privileges and Elections", the fact is that the subcommittee never subpoenaed McCarthy, but only "invited"
him to testify. One senator and two staff members resigned from the subcommittee because of its dishonesty towards McCarthy.
In its final report dated January 2, 1953, the subcommittee, stated that the matters under consideration "have become
moot by reason of the 1952 election." Up until this moment in U.S. history, no senator had ever been punished for something
that had happened in a previous Congress or for declining an "invitation" to testify. Therefore, the first count
was a complete fraud and nothing more than a trumped up charge in order to damage Senator McCarthy.
The second count was even more flawed than the first. McCarthy was condemned for opinions he had expressed outside
the Senate when he criticized the Watkins Committee and the special Senate session. In an editorial by David Lawrence in
the June 7, 1957 issue of U.S. News & World Report, other senators had accused McCarthy of lying under oath,
accepting influence money, engaging in election fraud, making libelous and false statements, practicing blackmail, doing
the work of the communists for them, and engaging in a questionable "personal relationship" with Roy Cohn and David Schine. However, these other Senators were not censured for acting "contrary to senatorial ethics"
or for impairing the "dignity" of the Senate. Only Senator McCarthy would be held responsible for his words.
The flag-draped coffin containing the body of Senator McCarthy is carried up the steps of the U.S. Capitol for
funeral services in the Senate chamber after an earlier service at St. Matthew's Cathedral, May 6, 1957. Photograph courtesy
of The Post-Crescent
Senator McCarthy's power and clout to continue the search for Communists in positions of power in America was severely
curtailed. After the Republicans lost control of the Senate in 1954, McCarthy, now a member of the minority Party, had to
depend on public speeches to continue his campaign of warning the American people to the danger of Communism. He did this
in a number of important addresses during those two and a half years.
1957, McCarthy and his wife, Jean, adopted a baby girl and named her, Tierney. Unfortunately, several months later, McCarthy
died of acute hepatitis, likely brought on by his lifelong struggle with alcoholism, in Bethesda Naval Hospital on May 2, 1957, at the age of 48.
McCarthy was given a state funeral attended by 70 senators. McCarthy was the first
senator in 17 years to have funeral services in the Senate chamber. Thousands of people viewed the body in Washington D.C.
and it is estimated more than 30,000 people from Wisconsin filed through St. Mary's Church in the senator's hometown of Appleton,
Wisconsin, where the clergy performed a Solemn Pontifical Requiem before more than 100 priests and 2,000 others. Three senators,
George Malone, William E. Jenner, and Herman Welker, had flown from Washington D.C. to Appleton on the plane carrying McCarthy's
casket. Robert Kennedy attended the funeral in Wisconsin. McCarthy was buried in St. Mary's Parish Cemetery in Appleton and was survived by his
wife, Jean, and their adopted daughter, Tierney.
Retrospective views on McCarthy
- In her popular book, Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War
on Terrorism, Ann Coulter said of McCarthy:
half century later, when the only people who call themselves Communists are harmless cranks, it is difficult to grasp the
importance of McCarthy's crusade. But there's a reason 'Communist' now sounds about as threatening as 'monarchist' -- and
it's not because of intrepid New York Times editorials denouncing McCarthy and praising Harvard educated Soviet
spies. McCarthy made it a disgrace to be a Communist. Domestic Communism could never recover."
When Ann Coulter asked Fox News’ Bill O'Reilly to identify a McCarthy-tormented innocent, O'Reilly responded with Dalton Trumbo, one of House Un-American Activities Committee's (HUAC) “Hollywood Ten”, not realizing HUAC investigated CPUSA infiltration in Hollywood and called “the Hollywood Ten” of writers, directors and producers
to testify in 1947. McCarthy did not start his crusade against Communism until 1950.
- In 1953-54, McCarthy had been investigating lax security in the top secret facility at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey. He was attacked by liberals and Communists on the grounds that there were no security problems at Ft. Monmouth. Years later, in addressing the reason why the U.S.
Army's top-secret operations at Fort Monmouth were quietly moved to Arizona, Senator Barry Goldwater, in his 1979 book With no apologies: The personal and political memoirs of United States Senator Barry M. Goldwater,
Hayden, who in January 1955 became chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee of the United States Senate, told me
privately Monmouth had been moved because he and other members of the majority Democratic Party were convinced security
at Monmouth had been penetrated. They didn't want to admit that McCarthy was right in his accusations. Their only alternative
was to move the installation from New Jersey to a new location in Arizona."
Even though McCarthy's investigations proved that his suspicions were right, for many
years afterward and continuing to this day, liberals have spread the falsehood that McCarthy had found nothing at Fort Monmouth.
- Before the 1989 release of Carl Bernstein's book, Loyalties: A Son's Memoir, Albert Bernstein, Carl's father, expressed dismay at the revelations that the
book would make regarding Communist infiltration of the U.S. government and other sectors of American society. Albert Bernstein
going to prove [Sen. Joseph] McCarthy was right, because all he was saying is that the system was loaded with Communists.
And he was right. ... I'm worried about the kind of book you're going to write and about cleaning up McCarthy. The problem
is that everybody said he was a liar; you're saying he was right. ... I agree that the Party was a force in the country."
Both Albert Bernstein and Sylvia Bernstein, Carl's mother,
had both been Communists since the 1940s. Albert Bernstein was a Union activist, while Sylvia Bernstein was a secretary
for the War Department in the 1930s and, during the Clinton Administration, volunteered in the White House, answering letters that were addressed to Hillary Clinton. During the 1950s, Sylvia Bernstein invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid revealing her party ties to Congress but worked
openly in assisting convicted spies Julius Rosenberg and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed in 1953 for espionage.
It should be pointed
out how many people followed McCarthy on his crusade, and that many pro-Americans still do. The majority of the sources
that discredited Senator McCarthy originated from a large assault by the liberal media that managed to sway the majority
of Americans against him at that time. While many Americans – liberals and conservatives – use McCarthy's name
in a negative connotation, such references are unfair to McCarthy.
liberals were merely stupid, the laws of probability would dictate that at least some of their decisions would serve America's
Buckley, William F. McCarthy and His Enemies (1954), a major statement by a young conservative
- Crosby, S.J., Donald F. God, Church and Flag: Senator Joseph R. McCarthy
and the Catholic Church, 1950-1957 (1978). online edition
- Fried, Richard M. Nightmare in Red: The McCarthy
Era in Perspective 1990 online edition
- Griffith, Robert. The Politics
of Fear: Joseph R. McCarthy and the Senate 1987 online edition
- Herman, Arthur Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the Life
and Legacy of America’s Most Hated Senator (2000). excerpt and text search, very favorable to McCarthy
- Latham, Earl Communist
Controversy in Washington: From the New Deal to McCarthy. (1969).
- O'Brien, Michael. McCarthy and McCarthyism in Wisconsin. (1981)
- Oshinsky, David M. A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy (1983), standard biography excerpt and text search
- Reeves, Thomas C. The Life and Times of Joe McCarthy:
A Biography (1982), standard biography by a leading conservative scholar
- Klehr, Harvey, John Earl Hayes and Fridrikh Igorevich Firsov. The Secret World
of American Communism (1995) excerpt and text search
- Klehr, Harvey, and Ronald Radosh. The Amerasia Spy
Case: Prelude to McCarthyism (1996), suggests that Soviet spying in the postwar United States was extensive and that
in the case of the arrest of the editors of the Amerasia magazine, and others, in 1945, naive liberals in the Justice
and State departments blocked efforts to bring the spy ring to justice. excerpt and text search
- Lipset, Seymour Martin, and Earl Raab. The Politics
of Unreason: Right Wing Extremism in America, 1790-1970 (1970) (Chap. 6 "The 1950's: McCarthyism") online edition
- Morgan, Ted. Reds: McCarthyism in Twentieth-Century
America. 2003. 685 pp. excerpt and text search
- O'Reilly, Kenneth. Hoover and the Un-Americans: The
FBI, HUAC, and the Red Menace 1983
- Ottanelli, Fraser
M. The Communist Party of the United States: From the Depression to World War II 1991 excerpt and text search
- Rausch, Scott Alan. "McCarthyism and Eisenhower's
State Department, 1953-1961." PhD dissertation U. of Washington 2000. 231 pp. DAI 2000 61(6A): 2438-A. DA9976046
- Schrecker, Ellen. "McCarthyism: Political Repression
and the Fear of Communism." Social Research 2004 71(4): 1041-1086. Issn: 0037-783x Fulltext: in Ebsco; summarizes
her books on the subject
- Schrecker, Ellen. Many Are
the Crimes: McCarthyism in America (1998) excerpt and text search
- Schrecker, Ellen. The Age of McCarthyism: A Brief
History with Documents. (2d ed. 2002). 308 pp. excerpt and text search
- Tanenhaus, Sam. Whittaker Chambers: A Biography
(1998) excerpt and text search
- Theoharis, Athan. Chasing Spies: How the FBI Failed
in Counterintelligence but Promoted the Politics of McCarthyism in the Cold War Years. (2002). 307 pp. excerpt and text search
- Weinstein, Allen, and Vassiliev, Alexander. The Haunted
Wood: Soviet Espionage in America: The Stalin Era (1999) excerpt and text search
- Doherty, Thomas. Cold War, Cool
Media: Television, McCarthyism, and American Culture (2003) excerpt and text search
- Dussere, Erik. "Subversion in the Swamp: Pogo and
the Folk in the McCarthy Era." Journal of American Culture2003 26(1): 134-141. Issn: 1542-7331 Fulltext: in
- Murphy, Brenda. Congressional Theatre: Dramatizing
McCarthyism on Stage, Film, and Television. (1999). 310 pp. excerpt and text search
- Sbardellati, John and Shaw, Tony. "Booting a Tramp:
Charlie Chaplin, the FBI, and the Construction of the Subversive Image in Red Scare America." Pacific Historical
Review 2003 72(4): 495-530. Issn: 0030-8684 in JSTOR
- Strout, Lawrence N. Covering McCarthyism: How the
Christian Science Monitor Handled Joseph R. McCarthy, 1950-1954. 1999. 171 pp. online edition
- Joe McCarthy. Major Speeches and
Debates of Senator Joe McCarthy Delivered in the United States Senate, 1950-1951 U. S. Government Printing Office, 1953
- Joe McCarthy. McCarthyism: The Fight for America
1952 online edition
- Fried, ed. Albert. McCarthyism: The Great American
Red Scare: a Documentary History 1997 online edition
- Schrecker, Ellen W. "Archival Sources for the Study
of McCarthyism," The Journal of American History, Vol. 75, No. 1 (Jun., 1988), pp. 197–208 at JSTOR