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[personal profile] halavana
When I started reading Blacklisted by History, by M. Stanton Evans, I wasn't sure what to expect. Having only read the received version of Sen. Joe McCarthy and his attempt to weed out potential security threats in the State Department, I was expecting more of the same. Not so. Mr. Evans doesn't make McCarthy out to be a hero, but he does show him to be much more human than the usual demonization heaped upon him would suggest. The gentleman certainly did his research, sifting through FBI files and State Dept. records for whatever could be found to substantiate the accepted version, and finding just the opposite. The worst I can say is that because of Mr. Evans' book, I no longer enjoy the movie "Good Night and Good Luck" as I once did. Seems the 20th century's number 1 scapegoater was really one of the century's prime scapegoats.

This may not change the way I teach The Crucible, but will certainly adjust my attitude toward Arthur Miller even further away from the hero he tries to portray himself.

Date: 2011-06-08 07:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] siradaono.livejournal.com
funny thing about the truth of things, most folken don't believe it anyway.
I have heard it is a good book, well written.
Thanks for sharing your insights.

Date: 2011-06-08 10:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halavana.livejournal.com
It is a good, well written book, but not an easy read. Not what I'd suggest for a day at the beach. Very dense, detailed, meticulously documented research went into it. Funny how we have to wait 50 years for this kind of book to come out.

Date: 2012-03-10 08:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halavana.livejournal.com
Now that I've actually finished the book I think I can recommend it with more enthusiasm. The evidence that there really were people employed by the State Dept. that were trying to influence US policy in favor of Moscow and Beijing and supplying classified information is fairly overwhelming. McCarthy was investigating government employees, not the general citizenry, regardless of what the accepted history or mass media say.
Now I ask myself, to whom else will I admit that I have read and appreciated this book? Comparing the Salem Witch Trials to McCarthyism no longer works for me, considering that the 20 people executed in Salem were innocent, and many of the subjects of McCarthy's investigations were, in fact, communists or "fellow travelers." And then there is the fact that McCarthy's accusers were doing to him what they were accusing him of doing. Kinda hypocritical.
Anyway, thanks for listening to me rant, Ada.

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