I see no need to replicate the excellent bibliographies on McCarthyism that scholars have provided in recent years. Three may be strongly recommended not only as sources for further inquiry, but as brief historiographical guides: Ellen Schrecker, The Age of McCarthyism ( Boston: Bedford Books, 1994); Richard M. Fried, Nightmare in Red ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1990); and the introduction to the second edition of Robert Griffith, The Politics of Fear ( Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1987). Instead, I will concentrate on the works that bear directly on the matters discussed and documented throughout this book, or that I would suggest as worth reading for their own sake. McCarthyism, as we have seen, cuts a broad swath through American history.
The literature on America's aversion toward radicals, Communists in particular-- McCarthyism having been its latest and most extreme form--is a good place to begin. For a sweeping cultural overview, see Michael J. Heale, American Anticommunism: Controlling the Enemy Within, 1830-1970 ( Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990). Sweeping too, but more sharply honed with its psychoanalytic emphasis, is Joel Kovel, Red Hunting in the Promised Land: Anticommunism in the Making of America ( New York: Basic Books, 1994). Not to be overlooked is David Brion Davis survey: The Fear of Conspiracy ( Ithaca, N. Y: Cornell University Press, 1971). Along similar lines, but with its focus on politics and law, is Robert J. Goldstein's excellent Political Repression in Modern America ( Cambridge, Mass.: Schenkman Books, 1978). Still serviceable is William Preston, Aliens and Dissenters ( Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1963).
As for the red scare, properly so called, there is always the classic account: Robert Murrary, Red Scare ( Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1955), to which should be added: Stanley Coben, "A Study in Nativism: The American Red Scare of 1919-1920," Political Science Quarterly 79 ( March 1964), 52-75.
McCarthyism is unintelligible without a grasp of American foreign policy just before and during the Cold War. The number of books on foreign policy, even of a general sort, being prodigious beyond measure, I would recommend one out of the many that are first-rate for its readability and for the attention it pays to domestic affairs: Stephen E. Ambrose, Rise to Globalism ( New York: Penguin Books, 1993).
There are precious few studies of McCarthyism in its totality, as a central feature of American life before and during its heyday and indeed down to the present. In Ellen Schrecker's book, cited previously, we have a quick documentary run-through, which gives too much of its very limited space to the travails of the Communist Party and to the Rosenberg and Hiss cases, important as these were. Richard M. Fried's history, cited previously, is a fine piece of scholarship that touches most of the bases; if only it probed some of the questions it took up more deeply than it did. And then