- Hardcover: 697 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Touchstone edition (January 15, 1978)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671226827
- ISBN-13: 978-0671226824
- Package Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,827,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Great Fear: The Anti-Communist Purge Under Truman and Eisenhower Hardcover – January 15, 1978
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Great Fear, The: The Anti-Communist Purge Under Truman And Eisenh by Caute, David
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The fear instilled in the masses through `spectacular' condemnations (the Rosenbergs, Hiss, Oppenheimer) lavishly shown in the media reflects perfectly the fear of the powerful for contagion of the same masses by liberal ideas, by the `pestilence of the mind': `A communist starts as a liberal'.
The cabal veiled major political and social issues: silencing the critics of the governmental administrations, overturn New Deal policies and limit civil liberties, like freedom of speech, the right to work and even the right to eat (`Should reds be allowed to eat? No, in some States.).
The First Amendment, Freedom of speech, was heavily attacked through censure (books banned, post controlled, people were asked which newspapers and which books they read). Some liberals were even prosecuted for mere words, and even thoughts.
Professionally, the `progressives' were discriminated fiscally or for obtaining visas (L. Pauling) or even purely dismissed. An `iron curtain' was installed for US visitors.
The budgets and the powers of the security services exploded. 37 Million Workers were fingerprinted. The whole population was asked to spy and to inform on everyone. Some appealed to the darker side of humanity (xenophobia and superpatriotism).
Lives were destroyed by rigged juries, biased judges and bogus (but well paid) accusations. Like the witches in the Middle Ages, the victims served as an example for would-be critics.
The powerful disposed of two Fifth Columns: the Churches and the media (`The US intelligentsia largely abandoned their critical function'.)
Another constant was the hopelessly sectarian Left: `Trotzkyists deserve no more liberties than fascists' (Paul Robeson).
David Caute's dark pages are a must read for all those interested in US history.
For an evaluation of the impact of McCarthyism on the US population, see H.H. Hyman, `England and America', in Daniel Bell`s `The Radical Right'.