Little 'Red Scares'

Goldstein, Robert Justin
Date published: 
January 2014

Anti-communism has long been a potent force in American politics, capable of gripping both government and popular attention. Nowhere is this more evident that the two great 'red scares' of 1919-20 and 1946-54; the latter generally - if somewhat inaccurately - termed McCarthyism. By focusing on the interim period between the two major 'red scares', this volume makes clear that the lingering effects of 1919-20 and the gathering storm-clouds of 'McCarthyism' were clearly visible throughout the 20s and 30s. In so doing the rationale and motivations for the 'red scares' are contexualised as part of an evolving political narrative, rather than as isolated bouts of hysteria exploding onto - and then vanishing from - the political landscape.