Larry Tye has written a new biography of Senator Joseph McCarthy who led an Anti-communist crusade in the 1950s. More than 70 years later, Tye draws a parallel between McCarthy's tactics and President Trump's divisive rhetoric. He notes that McCarthy's chief legal counsel, Roy Cohn, served as Trump's lawyer and mentor in the 1970s. But beyond that, he says, both McCarthy and Trump are "bullies" who exploit fears and "point fingers when they're attacked."
Jake Tapper talks about his debut novel set in Washington D.C. during the McCarthy era, and about the challenges of interviewing people from the Trump administration when they state falsehoods or evade his questions. And
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, as anti-communist sentiment gained ground in the United States, paranoia and persecution swept through Hollywood. The House Un-American Activities (HUAC) began interrogating some of the country's most talented filmmakers and actors, accusing them of being communists or communist sympathizers.
Robert F. Kennedy is often remembered as a liberal icon who worked to heal racial strife, decrease poverty and end the war in Vietnam. But early in his career, biographer Larry Tye notes, Kennedy was a hard-edged anti-communist who worked for red-baiting Sen. Joe McCarthy, authorized the wiretapping of Martin Luther King Jr. and supported American intervention in Vietnam. Tye chronicles Kennedy's transformation.
Actor, producer, writer, director George Clooney directed and co-wrote the new film Good Night, and Good Luck, about the showdown between legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow and Sen. Joseph McCarthy that took place in 1954. Clooney also has a role in the film, portraying Murrow's producer Fred Friendly. The film is receiving much critical acclaim.
In several ways, the age of "infotainment" is foretold in Good Night, and Good Luck, set in the 1950s. The film tells of newsman Edward R. Murrow's fight against Sen. Joe McCarthy -- but it also details "the inherent debasement of mass news in a commercial culture."
Film critic David Edelstein reviews Good Night, and Good Luck, a new film about Edward R. Murrow, tells the story of the famed newsman's clash with Sen. Joe McCarthy. The film, with David Strathairn in the title role, was directed by George Clooney.
Ellen Schrecker re-examines the McCarthy era in her new book, "Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America." (Little, Brown) She writes that despite the unfairness of the House Un-American Activities Committee, accusations were generally accurate. It's the first complete post-Cold War account of the McCarthy era. Schrecker is a professor of History at Yeshiva University in New York.
Carl Bernstein, who broke the Watergate story with his colleague Bob Woodward, has a new memoir about his parents, called Loyalties. Bernstein's mother and father were communist activists during the McCarthy era, and were monitored by the FBI.
John G. Adams became the Counselor of the Army in 1953 and had to work as the liaison to Joseph McCarthy. His experience with McCarthy turned his indifference towards the Senator to active resistance. When McCarthy threatened members of the Army in 1954, Adams leaked documents that revealed McCarthy's illegal harassment of Adams. This led to the televised "Army-McCarthy Hearings." Adams has written a new book about this period and his experiences, "Without Precedent: The Story of the Death of McCarthyism."