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Party provided a recruitment pool for homegrown spies Martin Dies Jr the first congressman to make his name as a Red hunter developed solid information on Communist subversion through his Un American Activities Committee However its hearings were marred by partisan attacks on the New Deal presaging McCarthyThe most pervasive period of Soviet espionage came during World War II when Russia as an ally of the United States received military euipment financed under the policy of lend lease It was then that highly placed spies operated inside the US government and in America’s nuclear facilities Thanks to the Venona transcripts of KGB cable traffic we now have a detailed account of wartime Soviet espionage down to the marital problems of Soviet spies and the KGB’s abject efforts to capture deserting Soviet seamen on American soil During the Truman years Soviet espionage was in disarray following the defections of Elizabeth Bentley and Igor Gouzenko The American Communis. This was my first book by Ted Morgan I found him completely readable His research seems trustworthy As a person of left wing leanings I found it interesting that he had a lot of negative things to say about the rise of Socialism and Communism Most books I have looked at sort of brush of the pro soviet sympathies of the 30s as a minor error in judgement on some peoples parts Morgan gives evidence that a lot of people dropped out of the party not because they stopped believing in communism but that it was just not so safe to be a member any Of course he also spends a good deal of time attacking the anti red crowd as well This history runs the entire 20th century so you get the stories of the labor movement from the 20s all the way up to the diminishing of the party in the 80 s Sometimes the details become a bit overwhelming You loose track of who s who Still it s a great overview and I recommend it for any reader who is looking for an impartial history of this subject

FREE READ Reds McCarthyism in Twentieth Century America

Reds McCarthyism in Twentieth Century America

T Party was much diminished by a number of measures including its expulsion from the labor unions the prosecution of its leaders under the Smith Act and the weeding out under Truman’s loyalty program of subversives in government As Morgan persuasively establishes by the time McCarthy exploited the Red issue in 1950 the battle against Communists had been all but won by the Truman administration In this bold narrative history Ted Morgan analyzes the paradoxical culture of fear that seized a nation at the height of its power Using Joseph McCarthy’s previously unavailable private papers and recently released transcripts of closed hearings of McCarthy’s investigations subcommittee Morgan provides many new insights into the notorious Red hunter’s methods and motivesFull of drama and intrigue finely etched portraits and political revelations Reds brings to life a critical period in American history that has profound relevance to our own time From the Hardcover edition. Reds must certainly be the most detailed history ever written of communist espionage in the United States and the country s legal and political responses to it This six hundred page book covers the topic from the military intervention of the US and allies against the Bolsheviks following WWI to the actions largely illegal of the FBI against civil rights and anti war protests of the 1960 s culminating in the false narratives about Weapons of Mass Destruction that led to the Ira war The author relies uite a bit on the recently declassified Venona files decoded messages from Soviet agents to and from Moscow during the era The title s sub heading is McCarthyism in Twentieth Century America While the book certainly gives a complete and fascinating look and the rise and fall of McCarthy the story covers all the history of Soviet espionage including infiltration of the labor movement the use of front organizations spy rings passing along atomic secrets and much There are several takeaways from Morgan s work The Soviets did achieve considerable penetration of American institutions particularly in the 1930 s and 40 s Many labor unions were communist controlled and there was much interest in communism in universities and the arts There were in fact spies in high positions of government who actively collaborated with Russian intelligence Alger Hiss was unuestionably in the service of the Soviets as were other officials some uite close to the seats of power ie Roosevelt Acheson et al The Rosenberg s were fully engaged in seeking and passing along atomic secrets though the death sentences for them especially Ethel were out of proportion to the penalties given to others It also seems that the impact of espionage was fairly limited except in the case of atomic secrets Nonetheless one is struck by the extent of sympathy for communism especially in light of the rigidity of Moscow toward its American adherents and the depredations inflicted by Stalin that were known from the late 30 s on The intellectual currents that gave rise to the attraction of communism are not given much attention in this workThe reactions to communist activity in America followed two lines both of which were excessive in their application but nonetheless uite effective Both lines of response betrayed core American ideals of justice due process and fairness The Smith Act made it a crime to advocate violent overthrow of the government and perhaps significantly was accompanied by a reuirement of loyalty oaths for all manner of public employment While relatively few persons given the vast numbers of people reviewed were actually disualified the chilling impact of this draconian measure was devastating especially to persons who in years past had naively dabbled with leftist organizations Beyond its witch hunt aspect the Smith Act very effectively brought about the demise of the Communist Party USA From its zenith in the 30 s the party through the persecution of criminal authorities had become a shadow of itself by the 1950 sThe second line of attack against Reds was political Very early on the House Un American Affairs Committee HUAC pursued leftists by publicly exposing them in hearings While to a great degree effective this method was grossly unfair often exposing people to their ruin for activities that occurred many years past and that had resulted in no danger to the country Occasionally the work of the committee did produce actual spies such as Hiss who were prosecuted and jailed for contempt or perjury The book gives attention to the committee s campaign against Hollywood in the 1940 s and 50 s I found the author s treatment of this odious public shaming somewhat odd He correctly asserts that the writers and actors dragged before the committee made things worse for themselves by their overly histrionic resistance but he misses the point that the committee s aim was not to punish them legally except where perjury could be suborned but to ruin them for their associations The committee made a spectacle of browbeating well known personages to openly name names when in fact the connections to communist organizations of those to be publicly revealed was already known The author concludes sensibly that the influence that writers film makers and actors could have had on spreading the communist s gospel was in any real sense very minimalThe story of McCarthy s rise and fall is uite riveting a Shakespearian tragedy to be sure McCarthy was hugely ambitious and motivated overwhelmingly by an insatiable need for self advancement The author covers his early career as a district judge where McCarthy showed considerable compassion for those appearing before his court He also details McCarthy s strange attack on the prosecution of war criminals for the infamous Malmadey massacre McCarthy latched on to the growing pubic paranoia about communist infiltration emerging in the late 40 s and 50 s heightened by the Soviet s acuisition of the atomic bomb and the invasion of South Korea in 1950 His approach was to make wild claims of communists under every bed and to savagely attack anyone including his Senate colleagues who opposed his methods His viciousness has few parallels in modern times Morgan goes into extensive and fascinating detail about McCarthy s moment in the sun What is eually interesting is how in view of his outrageous behavior he was able to intimidate into silence those who were repulsed by his tactics and behavior It really was his own self destructiveness culminating in the Army McCarthy hearings that led to his collapse Certainly the national near hysteria about the perceived threat of the Soviet Union that supplied the electricity that he exploited And a most interesting element of McCarthy s war on communists in government is that by the time of his hearing the actual communist spy apparatus was almost entirely defunct done in by the Smith Act and judicial prosecution of communists The national attention drawn by his pursuit of a communist Army dentist and low level clerical workers affirms the national extreme fear of the Soviet Union Morgan devotes considerable space to the history of the FBI s involvement in rooting out and countering espionage rings and leftist fellow travelers of the communist movement J Edgar Hoover became obsessed with the danger he felt Reds presented to the country Beyond pursuing actual spies this led to his determination that the civil rights movement and later the student protest movement were communist driven Hoover like McCarthy was riding on the wave of fear and revulsion of the Soviet Union and this enabled him to stay influential with presidents and leading legislators for decades It also led to overtly illegal counterintelligence tactics against purported opponents that are a blot on our historyThe author concludes with an analysis of how this anti Red mania led to Nixon s sanction for illegal actions against those who opposed his policies In fact it was Nixon s disdain for the FBI s reluctance to go along that produced the notorious plumbers outfit that ultimately brought about Nixon s fall Ending his story in mid 2003 Morgan delves into the manipulation of truth by the Bush administration that turned the horror of the 911 attacks into the non seuitur of the Ira warThis is a very long read but well worth the time Although one might not agree on every conclusion drawn the history is exhaustively well researched and his treatment of the events and players admirably well balanced Cheating for the Chicken Man known from the late 30 s on The intellectual currents that gave rise to the attraction of communism are not given much attention in this workThe reactions to communist activity in America followed two lines both of which were excessive in their application but nonetheless uite effective Both lines of response betrayed core American ideals of justice due process and fairness The Smith Act made it a crime to advocate violent overthrow of the government and perhaps significantly was accompanied by a reuirement of loyalty oaths for all manner of public employment While relatively few persons given the vast numbers of people reviewed were actually disualified the chilling impact of this draconian measure was devastating especially to persons who in years past had naively dabbled with leftist organizations Beyond its witch hunt aspect the Smith Act very effectively brought about the demise of the Communist Party USA From its zenith in the 30 s the party through the persecution of criminal authorities had become a shadow of itself by the 1950 sThe second line of attack against Reds was political Very early on the House Un American Affairs Committee HUAC pursued leftists by publicly exposing them in hearings While to a great degree effective this method was grossly unfair often exposing people to their ruin for activities that occurred many years past and that had resulted in no danger to the country Occasionally the work of the committee did produce actual spies such as Hiss who were prosecuted and jailed for contempt or perjury The book gives attention to the committee s campaign against Hollywood in the 1940 s and 50 s I found the author s treatment of this odious public shaming somewhat odd He correctly asserts that the writers and actors dragged before the committee made things worse for themselves by their overly histrionic resistance but he misses the point that the committee s aim was not to punish them legally except where perjury could be suborned but to ruin them for their associations The committee made a spectacle of browbeating well The Last Runaway known personages to openly name names when in fact the connections to communist organizations of those to be publicly revealed was already On Tidy Endings known The author concludes sensibly that the influence that writers film makers and actors could have had on spreading the communist s gospel was in any real sense very minimalThe story of McCarthy s rise and fall is uite riveting a Shakespearian tragedy to be sure McCarthy was hugely ambitious and motivated overwhelmingly by an insatiable need for self advancement The author covers his early career as a district judge where McCarthy showed considerable compassion for those appearing before his court He also details McCarthy s strange attack on the prosecution of war criminals for the infamous Malmadey massacre McCarthy latched on to the growing pubic paranoia about communist infiltration emerging in the late 40 s and 50 s heightened by the Soviet s acuisition of the atomic bomb and the invasion of South Korea in 1950 His approach was to make wild claims of communists under every bed and to savagely attack anyone including his Senate colleagues who opposed his methods His viciousness has few parallels in modern times Morgan goes into extensive and fascinating detail about McCarthy s moment in the sun What is eually interesting is how in view of his outrageous behavior he was able to intimidate into silence those who were repulsed by his tactics and behavior It really was his own self destructiveness culminating in the Army McCarthy hearings that led to his collapse Certainly the national near hysteria about the perceived threat of the Soviet Union that supplied the electricity that he exploited And a most interesting element of McCarthy s war on communists in government is that by the time of his hearing the actual communist spy apparatus was almost entirely defunct done in by the Smith Act and judicial prosecution of communists The national attention drawn by his pursuit of a communist Army dentist and low level clerical workers affirms the national extreme fear of the Soviet Union Morgan devotes considerable space to the history of the FBI s involvement in rooting out and countering espionage rings and leftist fellow travelers of the communist movement J Edgar Hoover became obsessed with the danger he felt Reds presented to the country Beyond pursuing actual spies this led to his determination that the civil rights movement and later the student protest movement were communist driven Hoover like McCarthy was riding on the wave of fear and revulsion of the Soviet Union and this enabled him to stay influential with presidents and leading legislators for decades It also led to overtly illegal counterintelligence tactics against purported opponents that are a blot on our historyThe author concludes with an analysis of how this anti Red mania led to Nixon s sanction for illegal actions against those who opposed his policies In fact it was Nixon s disdain for the FBI s reluctance to go along that produced the notorious plumbers outfit that ultimately brought about Nixon s fall Ending his story in mid 2003 Morgan delves into the manipulation of truth by the Bush administration that turned the horror of the 911 attacks into the non seuitur of the Ira warThis is a very long read but well worth the time Although one might not agree on every conclusion drawn the history is exhaustively well researched and his treatment of the events and players admirably well balanced

SUMMARY · HIDEAWAYSTUDIO.CO.UK ☆ Ted Morgan

In this landmark work Pulitzer Prize–winning author Ted Morgan examines the McCarthyite strain in American politics from its origins in the period that followed the Bolshevik Revolution to the present Morgan argues that Senator Joseph McCarthy did not emerge in a vacuum he was rather the most prominent in a long line of men who exploited the issue of Communism for political advantage In 1918 America invaded Russia in an attempt at regime change Meanwhile on the home front the first of many congressional investigations of Communism was conducted Anarchist bombs exploded from coast to coast leading to the political repression of the Red Scare Soviet subversion and espionage in the United States began in 1920 under the cover of a trade mission Franklin Delano Roosevelt granted the Soviets diplomatic recognition in 1933 which gave them an opportunity to expand their spy networks by using their embassy and consulates as espionage hubs Simultaneously the American Communist. Sweeping but uneven often suspect recounting of America s Red Scare Ted Morgan a veteran journalist and historian is perhaps a accessible writer than other general historians of the McCarthy era and the book is full of interesting anecdotage and vivid recounting of key events Still the book s analysis of America s long history of anticommunism is decidedly mixed Sometimes the book is uite effective Morgan provides excellent insight into how Communists worked with conventional liberals during the New Deal era recounts the era s famous incidents with verve and skill especially in his compelling scathing portrait of Joe McCarthy s reign of error Yet Morgan s analyses are often suspect sometimes head scratching as when he proclaims the ultra reactionary Dies Committee the precursor to HUAC as successful in rousting out Soviet spies when they spent time attacking the New Deal and trying to prove Euripides and Christopher Marlowe were Commies or when he argues that Truman s repressive loyalty program played a key role in destroying Communist influence in the US rather than the defection of Soviet spies Elizabeth Bentley Whittaker Chambers around the same time Or a prolonged diatribe that victims of the Hollywood Blacklist were pampered crybabies who essentially got what they deserved The book s intermittently interesting but it s too much of a jumble to offer sustained insight


10 thoughts on “Reds McCarthyism in Twentieth Century America

  1. says:

    Sweeping but uneven often suspect recounting of America's Red Scare Ted Morgan a veteran journalist and historian is perhaps a accessible writer than other general historians of the McCarthy era and the book is full of interesting anecdotage and vivid recounting of key events Still the book's analysis of America's long history of anticommuni

  2. says:

    An extremely in depth chronicle of the history of McCarthyism in 20th century America Sometimes difficult to read because of the eno

  3. says:

    An ambitious effort that starts with the February Revolution and ends with Colin Powell's October 2002 presentations to the UN Security Counc

  4. says:

    A fascinating history of Red Scares and McCarthyism in 20th century America very pertinent today It's extremely readable but uite long Overall an enjoyable read

  5. says:

    Fear and hysteria over the 'other' is not a new American phenomenon but rather can be traced back to the 'Red Scare' that began in the early

  6. says:

    This was my first book by Ted Morgan I found him completely readable His research seems trustworthy As a person of left wing leanings I found it interesting that he had a lot of negative things to say about the rise of Socialism and Communism Most books I have looked at sort of brush of the pro soviet sympathies of the 30s as a minor error in judgement on some peoples parts Morgan gives evidence that a lot of people dropped out

  7. says:

    Reds must certainly be the most detailed history ever written of communist espionage in the United States and the country's legal and political responses to it This six hundred page book covers the topic from the military intervention of the US and allies against the Bolsheviks following WWI to the actions largely illegal of the FBI against civil rights and anti war protests of the 1960's culminating in the false narratives about Weapons

  8. says:

    This is an epic really a stupendous epic account of the relationship between the US and the covert actions of the Communist revolutionaries that eventually became the govt of the Soviet Union culminating in Senator McCarthy's hearings designed to root out Communist sympathizers from the US federal government It's astonishing in its depth a

  9. says:

    A very well written and researched book that details the pervasive subversion in the US by the Soviets from the early years of the USSR until the end of the McCarthy era the tale goes longer see my thoughts on the Epilogue However my interpretation of Mr Morgan's work only reinforces my thoughts that while McCarthy was reckless he was essentially right The American left has made McCarthy a bugaboo all while ignoring or excusing the traito

  10. says:

    If you want a thoroughly exhaustive survey of the history of Communism in America well this is it This book is

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