This new biography of Joseph R. McCarthy shows how the Wisconsin Senator’s campaign against American Communists prized sensation above truth. McCarthy often put aside his hunt for Reds while he pursued his anti-communist critics. He fought foes not just with noisy accusations but with covert gossip. He was gullible enough that some con artists managed to lure him on wild goose chases. The man who charged others with being “dupes” was sometimes one himself.
Historian Fried’s book builds on over a decade’s research in a multitude of sources, many of them newly opened—not just McCarthy’s own papers but those of forty-seven Senate colleagues, plus records of journalists, observers, and activists. It brings to light such theatrical episodes as a CIA “op” against McCarthy as well as Joe’s quixotic search for Soviet security chief Lavrenti Beria in Spain. The resulting multi-focal perspective on the political and institutional setting in which McCarthy operated with such abandon is full of drama.
Richard M. Fried taught various courses in Recent US History at the University of Illinois Chicago until his retirement in 2009, primarily focusing on political history with a strong interest in political culture. He published four books: Men Against McCarthy (1976); Nightmare in Red: The McCarthy Era in Perspective (1990); The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! Pageantry and Patriotism in Cold-War America (1998); and The Man Everybody Knew: Bruce Barton and the Making of Modern America (2005), a biography of the famous adman, religious writer and political figure.
Chapter 1. From Grand Chute to Appleton
Chapter 2. Mr. McCarthy Goes to Washington.
Chapter 3. Wisconsin’s Junior Senator
Chapter 4. Appointment in Wheeling
Chapter 5. The Tydings Trainwreck: Investigating McCarthy
Chapter 6. The Making of Joe McCarthy
Chapter 7. A St. George Deep in Dragons
Chapter 8. Hidden Hands and Junketeering Gumshoes
Chapter 9. At War with the Army
Chapter 10. Of “Secret Masters” and “Unheard-of Things”: Censure
Chapter 11. Frozen in the Cold