‘True American’: The Cold War and Battles for Ownership of Identity

America has not yet emerged from conflicts over what it means to be a “true American.” Consequently, historical assessments of the Cold War and its ramifications in American culture vary widely. Internal and External Conflict During the Cold War, the debate about what it meant to be a true American expressed tensions that had been[…]

The Lavender Scare: Joseph McCarthy’s Other Crusade

This witch-hunt harmed even more people than did the Red Scare, often trying to throw people under both buses. Introduction The lavender scare refers to a witch hunt and the mass firings of homosexual people in the 1950s from the United States government. It contributed to and paralleled the anti-communist campaign known as McCarthyism and the Second[…]

McCarthyism: The Rise of the ‘Red Scare’ to Its Shameful Collapse

“Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist party?” Introduction In the 1950s, thousands of Americans who toiled in the government, served in the army, worked in the movie industry, or came from various walks of life had to answer the above question before a congressional panel. Senator Joseph McCarthy[…]

Joseph McCarthy and the Red Scare, a Manufactured Communist Crisis

“Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist party?” Introduction In the 1950s, thousands of Americans who toiled in the government, served in the army, worked in the movie industry, or came from various walks of life had to answer that question before a congressional panel. Senator Joseph McCarthy rose to[…]