Richard M. Fried
This is a well-researched, and frequently entertaining, account of the rise and fall of the House Committee on Un-American activities. Fried describes the growth of the kind of paranoid and xenophobic anti-communism which characterized the HUAC and traces its origins from the New Deal to the post-war periods. Along the way we meet important actors in the Red-baiting drama, including Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, the young Richard Nixon, Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs, the Hollywood Ten, and, of course, Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy. Fried, however, also documents the more sweeping and less public effects of McCarthyism on thousands of people, from teachers and lawyers to washroom attendants forced to take loyalty tests. As Fried shows, these 'insignificant' stories are perhaps the strongest testament to the social and political climate which terrorized many ordinary citizens during the McCarthy years.