Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies.

Author:Mattox, Henry E.
Position:Book review

This study illustrates well the concept of revisionism in history. Political commentators in McCarthy's day, as well as the general public and the academic world, largely came to denounce and deride the Senator from Wisconsin for what appeared to be his loose regard for truth and his reckless willingness to categorize organizations and individuals as tools of Moscow, as enemies of American freedom. Joe McCarthy, with his dark, glowering mien and deep, growling voice, came to have a following among archconservatives; he did uncover some few security risks in the U. S. government and other segments of the American scene. It has long been accepted that those few advances in security were occasioned over time largely as a result of unsubstantiated accusations, bluster and browbeating, unproven rumors, and diminished civil liberties, the sum total of which was called "McCarthyism."

Senator McCarthy (R. Wis.) began his rise to power and notoriety in early 1950. He flamed out four years later, his fall from any grace whatever as a result of the Army-McCarthy hearings. (The author presents in Blacklisted a detailed account thereof, an account that is wholly sympathetic to the Senator's position and performance.) This was soon followed by his censure by the Senate. His political star and reputation went into eclipse and he died three years later, still only in his late forties. By that time, 1957, most of the politically aware American public either reviled McCarthy or had largely forgotten him. As his few remaining supporters would have put it, the Red Menace thus was enabled to march on behind the scenes in America.

Now, a half-century later, the journalist, author, and Cold War scholar, M. Stanton Evans has brought forth the result of what is described as six years of delving into longforgotten or never-before uncovered government files, evidence that he holds proves that McCarthy was right after all, that he understood the international Red Menace far better than his detractors. The author sets forth at considerable length and with the presentation of a great deal of detail the proposition that the Senator from Wisconsin, unlike his critics, clearly understood and appreciated the dangers of world communism.

The author's command of the mass of material is, indeed, noteworthy. His scholarly organization of archival sources impresses the reader. Facts, materials, citations, sources, quotations, contemporary interpretations, McCarthy's...

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