Schrecker reaches back in history to examine the roots of McCarthyism in the activity of Communists in the 1930s, as well as the response to that activity; not nearly enough people today recall that the House Committee on Un-American Activities, the forerunner to Sen. Joseph McCarthy's Army hearings, received its mandate back in 1938. She reveals the dishonest practices of McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover, and other professional anticommunists, and how the media often played--wittingly or unwittingly--right into their hands. One Washington-based journalist of the time would later say, "McCarthy was a dream story. I wasn't off page one for four years."
But Schrecker commands attention most when she writes of the effects of the anticommunist movement on men and women like union activist Clinton Jencks, one of the first men to be prosecuted under the Taft-Hartley Act, and of its stifling effect of leftist politics, particularly within the civil rights movement. The longterm consequences of McCarthyism, especially its proof of the ease with which a democratic government can adopt methods of political repression, are felt in America to this day. Many Are the Crimes is not only excellent history, but a powerful cautionary tale that should be required reading for any participant in modern politics.
I thought I had read the most politically left-wing books written by American authors. I've read, for example,Galbraith's The Affluent Society and Hofstadter's... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Robert V. Rose
This book is a wide-ranging look at perhaps the most politically repressive era in US history, commonly referred to as McCarthyism, extending for the better part of two full... Read morePublished on August 12, 2010 by J. Grattan
A must read for anyone wishing to get a fairly synthetic view of the McCarthy era. Other good books on the period exist, but this one is a very good place to start.Published on August 4, 2007 by pr52David
In one of the more elegantly written academic histories Ellen Schrecker kicks over all the stones in her thorough and balanced examination of one of the worst periods of political... Read morePublished on May 7, 2007 by David M. Sapadin
Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America by Ellen Schrecker is truly a seminal work; in American history carefully researched she proves the use of power by the few and the... Read morePublished on January 17, 2006 by Michael Francisconi
Ellen Schrecker repeats the tired myths that have made "McCarthyism" a bogeyman term.
But she relies on a version of history that has been dramatically disproven by... Read more
Schrecker's history of the anticommunist movement in America is an interesting study in to politics and personal liberty. Read morePublished on April 22, 2002
Notwithstanding the harshness of the title, I found this book to be a generally-balanced, thoughtful account of the intense and extensive anti-Communist campaign in the United... Read morePublished on July 5, 2001 by Steven S. Berizzi
Whittaker Chambers wrote in his book WITNESS that liberals are/were incapable of ever effectively fighting Communism because they did not see anything in Communism that was... Read morePublished on October 13, 2000 by James J. J. Janis