It Takes a Commie
Although both sides rip Sen. Joseph McCarthy as a reckless demon, an ongoing debate in loftier realms of media and academia concerns whether "Tailgunner Joe" actually was on target about commies under America's bed during the Cold War era and before. On one side are scholars who argue that while McCarthyism was a distempered reaction to the situation, fresh evidence more than vindicates those maligned for their suspicions. On the other side, a school of thought that finds voice through editorialists at the New York Times suggests that Soviet operatives made up some of the reports on which the current reassessment of communist infiltration in the United States is based and that the witch-hunting evils of McCarthyism were the "lethal threat to American democracy."
In the latest salvo, scholars Ronald Radosh, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr write in the New Republic that they believe that "if Americans are ever going to understand their history," the truth of McCarthy's general assertions must be separated from his scattergun approach to identifying individual culprits. The Times calls that an effort to …
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Publication information: Article title: It Takes a Commie. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: Insight on the News. Publication date: November 30, 1998. Page number: 35. © 1999 News World Communications, Inc. COPYRIGHT 1998 Gale Group.