American Inquisition

The Era of McCarthyism
Product Number: UT013
Released: Jun 15, 2004
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781402547591
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During the early years of the Cold War, the anticommunist witch hunt that we now call McCarthyism swept through American society. As we will discover, McCarthyism was much more than the career of the blustering senator from Wisconsin who gave it a name. It was the most widespread and longest-lasting episode of political repression in American history. Dozens of men and women went to prison, thousands lost their jobs, and untold numbers of others saw what happened to those people and refrained from expressing controversial or unpopular ideas. McCarthyism remains all too relevant today; if nothing else, it reminds us that we cannot take our basic freedoms for granted. This course aims to provide a basic understanding of what happened during the Cold War red scare of the late 1940s and 1950s. It will look at this red scare from the perspective of both the victims and the perpetrators, and will try to answer the following question: How could such a politically repressive movement arise in a modern democratic society such as the post-World War II United States? In order to answer that question, this course will look at earlier red scares as well as at some of the key players and institutions involved. It will examine those aspects of the domestic and international politics of the late 1940s and 1950s that contributed to the rise of the anticommunist furor. It will also explore the most important political trials of the era as well as investigate the experiences of its more anonymous (and perhaps more typical) victims. Finally, it will assess the costs of McCarthyism. How did it affect the men and women directly involved with it? And, more important, how did it affect American culture, politics, and the rest of American society?

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Author(s): Ellen Schrecker
Narrator(s): Ellen Schrecker
Product Number UC013
Released: May 21, 2004
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781402547584
Author(s): Ellen Schrecker
Narrator(s): Ellen Schrecker
Product Number Z01464
Released: Mar 28, 2011
Business Term: Purchase MultiUse
ISBN: #9781461814689

Professional reviews

"In these 14 lectures, Professor Ellen Schrecker gives a comprehensive overview of McCarthyism. Schrecker discusses key points in relation to their current political contexts and larger historical lineage, relating American anti-Communism to a range of other responses to perceived threats to the American way of life. Schrecker discusses these matters both on the large scale, tracking trends through the years, and the small, addressing the personalities and motivations of specific individuals. Schrecker's delivery is clear, measured, and articulate. She's friendly and easy to follow, if a touch nasal at times, and her tone maintains a professorial distance from these troubling events. G.T.B. (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine"