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McCarthyism and the Red Scare II


Historical Context: Enabling Conditions and Parallel Developments



  • Lingering effects of the 1920s Red Scare (Sacco & Vanzetti)
  • Rise of Nazi Germany—the global fascist threat
  • Hatch Act is designed to prevent "pernicious political activities" and bars Communists, Nazis and other individuals holding extremist beliefs from federal employment
  • Labor-friendly New Deal policies, overseas nation building (Marshall Plan) and the 20-year tenure of Democrats in the White House


  • Alien Registration Act or Smith Act of 1940 passed by Congress (under Pres. Harry Truman) makes it illegal for anyone in the US to advocate, abet, or teach the desirability of overthrowing the government. This is the first peacetime sedition act in US history
  • World War II, the Cold War and the nuclear buildup: USA, USSR, China
  • 1946 - US Congressional elections lead to Republican control of both houses. Isolationist sentiment rises and Congress calls for demobilization and budget austerity
  • 1947 - Truman bars members of the Communist party from employment in executive branch; the Taft-Hartley Act requires unions to expel members of the communist party if they are also members of the NLRB, the National Labor Relations Board
  • 1949 - arrest and conviction of 11 leaders of the American Communist Party on grounds of having violated the Alien Registration Act
  • ACLU, self-proclaimed guardian of First Amendments rights, institutes a loyalty purge designed to exclude from membership those suspected of harboring subversive ideas.
  • Spy scandals as media spectacles: Alger Hiss (1948), the Rosenberg Case (1953), and others



  • McCarran Act or Internal Security Act essentially outlaws communist political and union activity
  • 1952 – beginning of academic purges in colleges and universities
  • 1953 – after Republicans regain the White House under Dwight Eisenhower, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and VP Richard Nixon begin promoting the "Domino Principle" and begin calling for the so-called "New Look" Cold War diplomacy, including "rollback" strategy, using "massive retaliation, and reliance on ICBMs and the Strategic Air Command.
  • The Korean "Conflict" (June 1950-July 1953); Hungarian uprising (1953); workers revolt in East Germany (1957), etc.

HUAC and Hollywood

  • HUAC, the House of Un-American Activities Committee, originally established in 1937 to investigate "un-American" subversive activities from both the left and the right
  • Request by some HUAC members to interrogate the Ku Klux Klan denied by chairman Martin Dies, a KKK sympathizer.

    Every true American, and that includes every Klansman, is behind you and your committee in its efforts to turn the country back to the honest,
    freedom-loving, God-fearing American to whom it belongs. 

                                                                     – KKK telegram to Martin Dies on the formation of HUAC in 1937

   The threats and intimidations of the Klan are an old American custom, like illegal whisky-making. – John Wood, HUAC member

  • Focus on subversive activities on the part of the American Communist Party: infiltration of the Federal Writers Project and other New Deal projects; enforcement of the Alien Registration Act
  • HUAC investigation into the Hollywood Motion Picture Industry, by then-chairman J. Parnell Thomas, in 1947 due to purported left-wing views in films: The Hollywood Ten (HT IHT II, HT III) and The Blacklist

    →  The Waldorf Statement — the studios' response to HUAC
    →  Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, Statement of Principles
    →  Ayn Rand, Screen Guide for Americans (1950), Screen Guide II
    →  footnote: It's A Wonderful Life (1946) a communist propagada?

  • June 1950 - publication of Red Channels, a 213-page pamphlet by three former FBI agents and a right-wing television producer (Vincent Harnett) listing the names of 151 writers, directors and performers who, they claimed, had been members of subversive organizations before the Second World War, but had not so far been blacklisted  →  expansion of blacklist to 320, including such figures as Leonard Bernstein, Charlie Chaplin, Aaron Copland, Arthur Miller, Dashiell Hammett, Orson Welles, Richard Wright, etc.
  • McCarthy as chair of the Government Committee on Operations of the Senate, 1950-54 (see below)
  • 1969: HUAC renamed the "Internal Security Committee." Committee abolished in 1975 and its functions transferred to the House Judiciary Committee

McCarthy and The House of Un-American Activities Committee

  • Political ambition in warp drive: the Wisconsin Democrat turned Republican, the myth of "Tailgunner Joe," and the first forging of documents (Millard Tydings, D-MD, & Earl Browder, the head of the American CP)
  • 9 Feb. 1950, speech of Joseph McCarthy in Wheeling, WV, claiming to have a list of 205 people in the State Dept. known to be card-carrying members of the CP.

     The reason why we find ourselves in a position of impotency is not because the enemy has sent men to invade our shores, but rather because of
     the traitorous actions of those who have had all the benefits that the wealthiest nation on earth has had to offer - the finest homes, the finest
     college educations, and the finest jobs in Government we can give.

     While I cannot take the time to name all the men in the State Department who have been named as members of a spy ring, I have here in my
     hand a list of 205 that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working
     and shaping the policy of the State Department.

  • 1950-53: televised hearings in the Senate: naming qua exoneration, or, if you fink, you don't stink.
  • Targeting Democrats and New Deal policies: Harry S. Truman, George Marshall, Dean Acheson—attacks which are instrumental in bringing Republicans (Dwight Eisenhower) back into the White House. At the same time, collaboration with his friend, J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI:

    "We were the ones who made the McCarthy hearings possible. We fed McCarthy all the material he was using." 
                                                                                                                                               - William Sullivan, Hoover agent
    • Definition of McCarthyism, a coinage coincident with McCarthy's own emergence on the national political stage—a witch-hunt and anti-communist hysteria
    • The American Heritage Dictionary: 1. The political practice of publicizing accusations of disloyalty or subversion with insufficient regard to evidence, and 2. The use of methods of investigation and accusation regarded as unfair, in order to suppress opposition.
    • McCarthy's own definition: "calling a man a Communist who is later proven to be one."
  • The new appointments: Roy Cohn, chief counsel, and David Schine, chief consultant.   The new target: The Overseas Library Program

     I urge you to take issue with McCarthy and make it stick. People in high and low places see in him a potential Hitler, seeking the presidency
     of the United States. That he could get away with what he already has in America has made some of them wonder whether our concept of
     democratic governments and the rights of individuals is really different from those of the Communists and Fascists.

                                                – Philip Reed, head of General Electric, to Pres. Eisenhower, after a tour of Europe in summer of 1953 (8 June 1953)

  • Reputation management: the charges of homosexuality, marriage, and adoption
  • October 1953, Army McCarthy Hearings: McCarthy begins to allege and investigate communist infiltration of US Army and accuses Robert Stevens, Secretary of the Army, of concealing evidence of espionage. — Army goes on the offensive by circulating information damaging to McCarthy's reputation. Televised hearings lead to public humiliation and loss of chairmanship  →  see Emile De Antonio's film documentary, Point of Order (1964, re-edited 1975)

    When you go out and shoot rats, you have to shoot straight because when you shoot wildly, it not only means that the rats may get away more
    easily, but you might hit someone else who is trying to shoot rats, too. So we have to be fair – for two very good reasons: one, because it is right;
    and two, because it is the most effective way of doing the job.

   Men who have in the past done effective work in exposing the Communists in this country have, by reckless talk and questionable methods,
   made themselves the issue rather than the cause they believe in so deeply.

                                                                                                 – Richard Nixon, as per instructions of President D. Eisenhower, March 54

  • Dec 1954, McCarthy censured by the Senate in a vote of 67 to 22.
  • 2 May 1957, McCarthy dies of alcoholism

The Aftermath: Commentaries, Voices, Effects


Contemporary Voices

For a full range of contemporary voices.

  • I feel that in my whole life I have never done anything of any conspiratorial nature and I resent very much and very deeply the implication of being called before this Committee that in some way because my opinions may be different from yours, that I am any less of an American than anyone else.

    I am saying voluntarily that I have sung for almost every religious group in the country, from Jewish and Catholic, and Presbyterian and Holy Rollers and Revival Churches. I love my country very dearly, and I greatly resent the implication that some of the places that I have sung and some of the people that I have known, and some of my opinions, whether they are religious or philosophical, make me less of an American.
                                                                                                  – Pete Seeger testifying in front of HUAC, but unwilling to name names (15 Aug 55)
  • Senator McCarthy is, of course, so anxious for the headlines that he is prepared to go to any extremes in order to secure some mention of his name in the public press. His actions create trouble on the Hill with members of the party; they irritate, frustrate, and infuriate members of the Executive Department. I really believe that nothing will be so effective in combating his particular kind of troublemaking as to ignore him. This he cannot stand.
                                                                                                 – Dwight Eisenhower, diary entry, 1 April 1953
  • Never in the history of the world was one people as completely dominated, intellectually and morally, by another as the people of the United States by the people of Russia in the four years from 1946 through 1949. American foreign policy was a mirror image of Russian foreign policy: whatever the Russians did, we did in reverse. American domestic politics were conducted under a kind of upside-down Russian veto: no man could be elected to public office unless he was on record as detesting the Russians, and no proposal could be enacted, from a peace plan at one end to a military budget at the other, unless it could be demonstrated that the Russians wouldn't like it. American political controversy was controversy sung to the Russian tune; left-wing movements attacked right-wing movements not on American issues but on Russian issues, and right-wing movements replied with the same arguments turned round about.

    All this took place not in a time of national weakness or decay but precisely at the moment when the United States, having engineered a tremendous triumph and fought its way to a brilliant victory in the greatest of all wars, had reached the highest point of world power ever achieved by a single state.
                                                                                               – Archibald MacLeish, The Conquest of America, 1949

In Retrospect

  • In the early fifties, the House Un-American Activities Committee was at its heyday, interrogating Americans about their Communist connections, holding them in contempt if they refused to answer, distributing millions of pamphlets to the American public: "One Hundred Things You Should Know About Communism" ("Where can Communists be found? Everywhere"). Liberals often criticized the Committee, but in Congress, liberals and conservatives alike voted to fund it year after year. By 1958, only one member of the House of Representatives (James Roosevelt) voted against giving it money. Although Truman criticized the Committee, his own Attorney General had expressed, in 1950, the same idea that motivated its investigations: "There are today many Communists in America. They are everywhere - in factories, offices, butcher shops, on street corners, in private business - and each carries in himself the germs of death for society."
                                                                                                    – Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States (1980) – collective right-wing swing
  • At the time it began its investigation of the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory, [HUAC] was just coming into its own as a vehicle for publicizing the threat of Communist Espionage. It collaborated closely with the FBI and offered the bureau an invaluable forum for airing charges in cases that could never be prosecuted. . . . The hearings also served more partisan purposes. They gave the political opponents of the Truman administration an opportunity to attack it as unconcerned about national security, and they reinforced the unfavorable image of scientists, thus helping the military regain control of the atomic energy program.

    In many respects, HUAC and other committees were an even more useful mechanism for disseminating the anti-Communist message than criminal prosecution, for they were unconstrained by legal procedures and rules of evidence. They could punish political undesirables by exposure and the threat of contempt of citation. Among the committees' other contributions to the process of demonizing Communism . . . was the wide publicity they gave to the Fifth Amendment and to the notion that people who refused to answer questions about Communism were actually admitting their guilt—a notion that was to prove particularly lethal to the Rosenbergs.

                                                                                                      – Ellen Schrecker, "Before the Rosenbergs," on the strategies and effects of HUAC

Literature, Film, and Other Cultural Effects

Any search engine will dredge up numerous links on "McCarthyism and Literature" or "McCarthyism and Culture." Here, for example, is a well-developed course on The American 1950s that contains numerous extensive links on the culture and debates of the 1950s, and CALPAL (select from the navigation menu above) can lead you into various fruitful directions as well. If you are interested in the more properly political developments, I'd recommend the hot site on the Cold War for starters. For the purposes of this more modest site, I have confined myself to some punctual and eclectic literary/cultural references without any claim toward completeness or inclusiveness.

  • Arthur Miller, The Crucible, and HUAC, AM Society Website, AM American Masters, Synopses of Major Works, Descriptive Chronology of Plays, C-Review, "Why I Wrote The Crucible?"
  • Arthur Miller and Elia Kazan, whose friendship was shattered by Kazan's HUAC testimony. . . .  "Elia Kazan and the Case for Silence," "Kazan and Miller," On the Waterfront, None Without Sin
  • The postwar period saw the emergence of the "atom spy" as a new sort of villain (or hero) that laid the fictional foundation for the real-life frame-up of the Rosenbergs and the success of Ian Fleming's James Bond.

    Redefining National Knowledge – Worthy successor to the evil genius of German Expressionist films, the spy became an, often brawny and brainy, intellectual figure central to national security interests, "despite or perhaps because of the fact that there was no 'secret' to give away—the bomb had been produced from a fund of international wartime knowledge" (Ross 19). The spy, as it were, reconfigured international knowledge as a national secret of the first order—very much in contrast to the research community surrounding the Manhattan Project, which advocated the global dissemination and civilian control of nuclear power.

    Deconstructing the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – Cold War spy thrillers have, from the very beginning, been attuned to the fact that conventional oppositions of good vs. evil, us vs. them, and right vs. wrong are tenuous at best and in need of reexamination. (James often solves such imponderables by bedding his female alter egos, which is to say, through international cooperation of a different sort). Bond, at the end of his first appearance in Casino Royale (1953)—a publishing success that paralleled the headlines of the Rosenberg executions—is already fully aware that the good guys are a negative/positive mirror image of the bad guys:

    The hero kills two villains, but when the hero Le Chiffre [James' antagonist] starts to kill the villain Bond and the villain Bond knows he isn't a
    villain at all, you see the other side of the medal. The villains and the heroes get all mixed up." "Of course,"
he added, . . . "patriotism comes along
    and makes it seem fairly all right, but this country– right-or-wrong business is getting a little out-of-date. Today we are fighting communism.
    Okay. If I'd been alive fifty years ago, the brand of conservatism we have today would have been damn near called communism and we should
    have been told to go fight that. History is moving pretty quickly these days and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.

007 and JFK—A Presidential Promotional Plug – When Ronald Reagan declared himself one of Tom Clancy's most faithful readers and described The Hunt for Red October (1984) as "a perfect yarn"—replete with detailed descriptions of state-of-the-art combat technology—the novel moved quickly to the bestseller lists and was snapped up by Hollywood. Similarly, during a press conference, John F. Kennedy went on record as one of Ian Fleming's devoted readers and helped make "Bond, James Bond," a household name and 007 a movie franchise  As a World War II British Intelligence agent (not unlike Somerset Maugham in World War I), Fleming had indeed been invited to the White House and joked to JFK that if the United States wanted to get rid of Fidel Castro—JFK's own nemesis, as it were—they should announce that beards would attract radioactivity and lead to sterility. Such an announcement, Fleming jovially continued, would alarm Castro, who (in an attempt to avoid this sort of radioactive castration) would most certainly shave off his prize possession and thus lose his iconic status among Cubans, eventually leading to his fall from power.

The Man with the Golden Typewriter: Ian Fleming's James Bond Letters (2015)

  • In 1954, at the height of the McCarthy hysteria, Congress added the phrase "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance to differentiate the U.S. from nations under communist—which is to say, atheistic—rule.
  • The Lavender Scare I, II, III -- another witch hunt by any other name . . .
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) as allegory of McCarthyism
  • Peter George, Red Alert (1958), the basis for Stanley Kubrick's black comedy, Dr. Strangelove (1964). Click for Red Alert pdf download
  • Dalton Trumbo (1905 – 1976) was an American screenwriter and novelist (Johnny Got His Gunwho scripted many award-winning films including Roman HolidayExodusSpartacus, and Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. One of the Hollywood Ten, he refused to testify before the HUAC in 1947 during the committee's investigation of Communist influences in the motion picture industry. He, along with the other members of the Hollywood Ten, and hundreds of other industry professionals were subsequently blacklisted by that industry. His sheer talent as a screenwriter enabled him to continue working clandestinely on top films, writing under other authors' names or pseudonyms. His uncredited work won two Academy Awards: for Roman Holiday (1953), which was given to a front writer, and for The Brave One (1956) which was awarded to a pseudonym of Trumbo's.When he was given public screen credit for both Exodus and Spartacus in 1960, this marked the beginning of the end of the Hollywood Blacklist for Trumbo and other screenwriters. He finally was given full credit by the Writers' Guild for all his achievements, the work of which encompassed six decades of screenwriting.
  • The Manchurian Candidate (1962, John Frankenheimer), a chilling, brilliant and film-noirish Cold War suspense thriller about brain-washing, conspiracy, the dangers of international Communism, McCarthyism, assassination, and political intrigue. Laurence Harvey plays a brainwashed Korean war hero who has been programmed as a Soviet sleeper/mole agent to assassinate a Presidential candidate. The movie displays the emerging role and importance of television in broadcasting public affairs and shaping opinion, and the circus atmosphere that surrounds American politics. Forty-two years later, this classic original was remade in 2004 by director Jonathan Demme (and producer Nancy Sinatra) as an action-thriller (tagline: "Everything is under control").
  • In The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath created a protagonist, Esther Greenwood, who is recognizable as Plath's fictional alter ego trying coming to terms with the conventional gender expectations of the 1950s, etc. MAP-on SP, The Bell Jar I, The Bell Jar II

In her naming of Esther Greenwood, Plath selected, isolated, distinguished, and reproduced the names that marked Ethel Rosenberg as a "private" person. She erased and repudiated the elements that identified Ethel Rosenberg in terms of her marital status: the surname of her husband, Julius; her motherhood: the surname she shared conventionally with her sons; and her "public" identity as a political activist and "spy." Indeed, the "Greenwood" variation of "Greenglass" can be read as preserving only those features of Ethel Rosenberg that are most purely "private" in that it erases the connection by common surname that publicly marked her "motherly" relationship to her younger brother, David Greenglass, a crucial witness against both Rosenbergs at their trial.
                                                                                                      – Marie Ashe, "The Bell Jar and the Ghost of Ethel Rosenberg"

  • E. L. Doctorow's fictional reconstruction of the Rosenberg case and the 1950s Red Scare, The Book of Daniel (1971) and Sidney Lumet's film Daniel (1983) based on Doctorow's script.

Many historians have noted an interesting phenomenon in American life in the years immediately after a war. In the councils of government fierce partisanship replaces the necessary political coalitions of wartime. In the greater arena of social relations—business, labor, the community—violence rises, fear and recrimination dominate public discussion, passion prevails over reason. Many historians have noted this phenomenon. It is attributed to the continuance beyond the end of the war of the war hysteria. Unfortunately, the necessary emotional fever for fighting a war cannot be turned off like a water faucet. Enemies must continue to be found. The mind and heart cannot be demobilized as quickly as the platoon. On the contrary, like a fiery furnace at white heat, it takes a considerable time to cool. (29)
                                                                                                       – E. L. Doctorow, The Book of Daniel

  • Robert Coover's The Public Burning (1977), a decidedly large, postmodern novel that takes the execution of the Rosenbergs at its point of departure but—in classically encyclopedic fashion—offers scathing cultural commentary on a range of issues of the 1950s: the miscarriage of justice; the erotic fantasy life of Richard M. Nixon; the highlights of the Eisenhower era; and, the national hysteria about communist infiltration, among many others. Central to Coover's vision, which is echoed in the novel's very title, is the spectacular, circus-like quality of the execution itself: a mass media event or Disney show taking place, not in Sing Sing, but in Times Square, "the ritual center of the Western world." If you are in the mood for a witty and supersize whopper, this polyphonic feat is for you.
  • Reds (1981), Warren Beatty's epic, sweeping romance about two American socialists, journalist John Reed and his paramour Louise Bryant, who take part in the Bolshevik revolution. Produced, written and directed by Warren Beatty, the film received 12 Oscar nominations and received three, included Best Director—something that would have been unthinkable in Hollywood 30 years earlier!
  • In Angels in America (Part 1: "Millennium Approaches," Part 2: "Perestroika"; Tony Awards for Best Play in 1993 and 1994) Tony Kushner brings two of the major players of the Rosenberg trials back to life. Just before the closet homosexual and lead prosecutor Roy Cohn—who considered the Rosenberg electrocution his greatest legal accomplishment—dies of AIDS, Ethel Rosenberg visits him as an angelic ghost announcing a revision of received history: "History is about to crack open. Millennium approaches." Even though her hatred for the man who condemned her and her husband to the electric chair is "needlesharp," she has the compassion to sing the Kaddish on his deathbed, a sign of her profound humanity. Cohn, on the other hand, comes across as a supervillain driven by genuine malevolence. (See Heir to an Execution below for an interview with Kushner, and the the more recent 2019 Sundance documentary, "Where Is My Roy Cohn?")

Kushner employs a stereotypical image of the Jew in drawing Roy as a comment on anti-Semitism and prevailing images of Jewish people. Stripped of his telephone and his New York moxie, Roy almost resembles Shylock of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice—the heartless, greedy middleman who cares only for money and self-promotion. With his back-channel access and wheeler-dealer savvy, Roy also fits with more modern stereotypes of Jews as quietly influential overlords. Kushner does not try to obscure this linkage—he revels in it. The first scene in which Roy appears announces him as a grandly over-the-top villain for whom subtlety is less important than showmanship. By making Roy the cousin of these Jewish stereotypes, the play ironically highlights his own ill- concealed anti-Semitism and homophobia. Roy assumes he is persecuted for his Judaism in part because he does not like other Jews; part of what fuels his hatred of Ethel is her Jewishness (likewise, his attraction to Joe is indivisible from Joe's image as an all-American Gentile). But, the play suggests, what makes Roy a monster is not his Judaism but his prejudice, ironically targeted at his own. The traces of Judaism or homosexuality in Roy's persona (humorously hinted at in his first scene, for instance, by his affection for the musical La Cage Aux Folles) cannot be eradicated, and in death his link to his ancestral communities only grows stronger. But while he lives, Roy's isolation from his natural identity contributes to his twisted villainy and his unprofessed but profound loneliness. –

  • Philip Roth, I Married a Communist (1999)— is the story of the rise and fall of Ira Ringold, a big American roughneck who begins life as a teenage ditch-digger in 1930s Newark, becomes a big-time 1940s radio star, and is destroyed, as both a performer and a man, in the McCarthy witchhunt of the 1950s.
  • Michael Frayn, Copenhagen I, II, III (2001 Tony for Best Play) dramatizes the real-life meeting between two brilliant physicists, Niels Bohr of Denmark and Werner Heisenberg of Germany, long-time friends whose work together had opened the way to the atomic bomb, but who are now on opposite sides of World War II. => see also Ben Lewin, The Catcher Was A Spy  (2018, starring Paul Rudd)

    At a time when war looms over us, and weapons of mass destruction are again a concern, there can hardly be a more timely moment to experience Michael Frayn's Copenhagen
                                                                                        – BBC Four

  • Michael Sloane, The Majestic (2001)

  • The New McCarthyism, a column maintained by The Progressive Magazine beginning in 2002
  • Ivy Meeropol, Heir to an Execution: A Granddaughter's Story (2003), a 2004 Sundance documentary feature, captures the personal story of the Rosenbergs, setting up the political backdrop of the prevalent anti-communist mood of the country at the time and shows how the fifty-year-old event still reverberates with the relatives they left behind and their descendants. This DVD also includes an interview with Tony Kushner explaining how and why he chose two characters based on Ethel Rosenberg and Roy Cohn for his play, Angels in America (see above).
  • George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck I, II (2005), a dramatized account of the public struggle between revered CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow (played by David Strathairn) and Senator Joe McCarthy that unfolds against the historical backgrounds of the 1950s. Above and beyond chronicling the struggle between M & M, the film also documents the beginning trend of the "dumbing down" of areas of intellectual inquiry, such as broadcast journalism, in their need to entertain, not report. (The film could well serve as a visual preface to Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death). As Murrow notes at one point: "We have a built in allergy to unpleasant information, and our media reflects that."
  • Doctor Atomic is an opera by the contemporary post-minimalist American composer John Adams, with libretto by Peter Sellars. It premiered at the San Francisco Opera on 1 Oct. 2005. The work focuses on the great stress and anxiety experienced by those at Los Alamos while the test of the first atomic bomb (the "Trinity" test) was being prepared.
  • Group Offers Money for Reports on Left Wing Faculty (NPR audiolink, Morning Edition, 19 January 2006). A conservative alumni group is offering to pay students at the University of California-Los Angeles to monitor professors who have been branded as left-wing radicals. Faculty at UCLA are alarmed over what some are calling a campus witchhunt.
  • Frost/Nixon (NPR audiolink, Morning Edition, 20 April 2007), about Peter Morgan's play on the 28-hour interview of David Frost with Richard Nixon, the first interview the former president had given following his resignation in the wake of the Watergate scandal. See also the Frost/Nixon (2008) feature film, directed by Ron Howard.
  • Sundance 2019: Where's My Roy Cohn?, "The Final Lesson Donald Trump Never Learned From Roy Cohn"(Politico 2019), All That Glitters (2019) Angels in America Remains a Vivid Portrait of the Forces That Created Donald Trump (2020)
  • The Daring Cold War Plan to Build a Tunnel between East and West Berlin (Steve Vogel, Betrayal in Berlin, 2019)

Select Sources for this McCarthyism site

  • Ashe, Marie. "The Bell Jar and the Ghost of Ethel Rosenberg." Secret Agents: 215-31
  • atlanticqueen, "Cold War, Hot Flicks"
  • Cadden, Michael. "Strange Angel: The Pinklisting of Roy Cohn," Secret Agents: 93-105.
  • Doctorow, The Book of Daniel. New York: Fawcett, 1987 (1971).
  • Electronic sources on McCarthyism and Hollywood & the Red Scare II listed in CALPAL
  • How J. Edgar Hoover Used the Power of Libraries for Evil (3/2020)
  • Epstein, Peter. None Without Sin. PBS TV, 2003.
  • Garber, Majorie and Rebecca L. Walkowitz (eds.) Secret Agents: The Rosenberg Case, McCarthyism, and Fifties America. New York: Routledge, 1995.
  • Green, Carol Hurd. "The Suffering Body: Ethel Rosenberg in the Hands of Writers." Secret Agents: 183-95.
  • John E. Haynes. Red Scare or Red Menace: American Communism and Anticommunism in the Cold War Era. New York: Ivan R. Dee Publisher, 1996
  • Robbins, Bruce. "Helplessness and Heartlessness: Irving Howe, James, Bond, and the Rosenbergs." Secret Agents: 143-54.
  • Ross, Andrew. No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture. New York: Routledge, 1989.
  • Schrecker, Ellen. "Before the Rosenbergs: Espionage Scenarios in the Early Cold War." Secret Agents: 127-41.
  • Siemion, Peter. "No More Heroes: The Routinization of the Epic in Techno-Thrillers." Joseph Tabbi & Michael Wutz (eds.) Reading Matters: Narrative in the New Media Ecology. Cornell: CUP, 1997: 193-223.
  • Coming Apart: Picture This. ABC Video. Princeton: Films for the Humanities, 1999.
  • Joseph McCarthy: An American Inquisitor, A & E Biography. New Video Group, 1995
  • Senator Joe McCarthy—A Multimedia Celebration
  • Reintroducing the Fairness Doctrine? -- American Radio and Politics

    last update, 25 January 2024

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