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Ordeal by Slander: The First Great Book of the McCarthy Era Paperback – December 23, 2002

3.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf (December 23, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786711337
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786711338
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,822,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book reviews the attack by Senator McCarthy and his fellow travelers against the core values of a free and
democratic society. The winner in this is Mr. Lattimore but the immense damage done by McCarthy to the United States
should not be underestimated.This book should be reprinted and used as a textbook of American history in high school
and college. If you read only chapter 9 you will get one of the best reviews of the tactics of the demagogue.
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Format: Paperback
Ignore the McCarthyite axe-grinding above. Lattimore's ordeal was a look at the Iron Curtain on the American side, every bit as ugly (if not as bloody) as its cold war counterpart. Revealingly, the main direct "evidence" marshaled against Lattimore was an anecdotal reference allegedly made by Soviet GRU director, Janis Berzins, to Soviet ambassador and defector, Alexander Barmine, that "Lattimore is our man." Ironic that Barmine, in fleeing Stalinist denunciations and becoming senior advisor with the US Information Agency, should employ the same backstabbing tactics.

Barmine's eager-to-please snitching for his new bosses dovetailed nicely with the lies of Alfred Kohlberg and the "China Lobby," who had been out to get Lattimore for years. Lattimore had strongly advised against pouring more US dollars down Chiang Kai-Shek's rathole regime. As McCarthy's rise was originally fronted by the China Lobby, it was no surprise that Lattimore was their first target. The McCarthy movement tore apart the US Government with, as Lattimore wrote here, all the bitterness of a real civil war which hasn't died yet.

Real patriots can take it as proof that "the system" did work: instead of exiling its Solzhenitysns and imprisoning its Sakharovs, it allowed Lattimore to defend himself against his accusers and foil their worst attempts to destroy him. Though, afterward, Lattimore did leave the US to escape the poisonous residues of this affair. This book is strongly recommended as the courageous voice of an American dissident in one of America's darkest hours.
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Format: Hardcover
In March 1950, Joseph McCarthy accused Lattimore of being the "top Soviet agent" in executive session of the Tydings Committee. The committee, chaired by Senator Millard Tydings, was investigating McCarthy's claims of widespread Soviet infiltration of the State Department. When the accusation was leaked to the press, he backed off from the charge that Lattimore was a spy, but continued the attack in public session of the committee and in speeches. Lattimore, he said, "in view of his position of tremendous power at the State Department" was the "'architect' of our Far Eastern policy," and asked whether Lattimore's "aims are American aims or whether they coincide with the aims of Soviet Russia." At the time, Lattimore was in Kabul, Afghanistan, on a cultural mission for the United Nations. Lattimore dismissed the charges against him as "moonshine" and hurried back to the United States to testify before the Tydings Committee.[20]

Lattimore was a combative witness and waged verbal duels with McCarthy. In April 1950, the surprise witness, Louis F. Budenz, former editor of the Communist Party organ Daily Worker. testified Lattimore was a secret Communist, but not a Soviet agent, that is, he was a person of influence who often assisted Soviet foreign policy. Budenz said his Party superiors told him Lattimore's "great value lay in the fact that he could bring the emphasis in support of Soviet policy in non-Soviet language."[21] The majority report for the Tydings committee cleared Lattimore of all charges against him; the minority report accepted Budenz's charges.

In February 1952, Lattimore was called to testify before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (S.I.S.S), headed by McCarthy's ally, Senator Pat McCarran.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Owen Lattimore was my uncle. He was not a liar, nor a communist. Anyone in doubt should read more of his wide body of work, to understand that he was a scholar, not a subversive.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most important books ever written about the horrible social and psychological consequences of being a slander victim. "Tail Gunner" Senator Joe McCarthy radicalized his Communist paranoia hysteria to such an extreme in the 1950's that he attempted to destroy the lives of some very innocent people.
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