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Dark Days in the Newsroom: McCarthyism Aimed at the Press Paperback – June 28, 2007
Alwood's look back at the 1950s congressional investigations of Communist infiltration of the press evokes a recent concern about the protections accorded under the First Amendment. The aggressive Eastland Committee subpoenaed more than 100 reporters to testify, many in public, of ties to the Communist Party. Fourteen of those who refused to testify were fired by newspapers, including the New York Times. Alwood, a journalism professor, draws on previously undisclosed FBI files and interviews to examine the tensions between Congress15 years into a campaign to root out Communismand the press. For its part, some of the press, notably conservative publisher William Randolph Hearst, conducted witch hunts and were uncritical in reporting on the House Un-American Activities Committee and Senator Joseph McCarthy. Alwood explores the motivations of publishers protecting their economic interests and reporters sympathetic to the Newspaper Guild and other unions, as well as the Supreme Court's refusal to recognize protections afforded to reporters under the First Amendment. This book is particularly evocative as the nation faces a debate about national security and press freedom. Bush, Vanessa
"Dark Days in the Newsroom is an excellent book. There are not many books about McCarthyism and the journalists, making Alwood's treatment of the topic very interesting and useful. I think this is going to be a valuable addition to the books on the subject and an important component to a journalism students' library." -- Jarice Hanson, Professor of Communication, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
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Top Customer Reviews
He covers it all, without allowing his own opinion to color the story. Yet he also writes with enough flair to keep it from becoming tedious. The pace is good while giving a full accounting of the situation. It's too bad that this book hasn't had a wider audience outside the college classroom. It is very good coverage of a pivotal use of Congressional hearings, as well as a interesting representation of "Red Scare" from the thirties into the sixties and some of the government's actions in relation to the fear of Communism. I would look forward to other subjects covered by this author for his interesting, informative and balanced approach to covering history accurately.