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Accused of creating a bogus Red scare and smearing countless innocent victims in a five-year reign of terror, Senator Joseph McCarthy is universally remembered as a demagogue, a bully, and a liar. History has judged him such a loathsome figure that even today, a half-century after his death, his name remains synonymous with witch hunts.
But that conventional image is all wrong, as veteran journalist and author M. Stanton Evans reveals in this groundbreaking book. The long-awaited Blacklisted by History, based on six years of intensive research, dismantles the myths surrounding Joe McCarthy and his campaign to unmask Communists, Soviet agents, and flagrant loyalty risks working within the U.S. government.
Evans’ revelations completely overturn our understanding of McCarthy, McCarthyism, and the Cold War. Drawing on primary sources, Evans presents irrefutable evidence of a relentless Communist drive to penetrate our government, influence its policies, and steal its secrets. Most shocking of all, he shows that U.S. officials supposedly guarding against this danger not only let it happen but actively covered up the penetration. All of this was precisely as Joe McCarthy contended.
Evans shows that practically everything we’ve been told about McCarthy is false, including conventional treatment of the famous 1950 speech at Wheeling, West Virginia, that launched the McCarthy era, the Senate hearings that casually dismissed his charges, and much more.
In the end, Senator McCarthy was censured by his colleagues and condemned by the press and historians. Blacklisted by History provides the first accurate account of what McCarthy did and, more broadly, what happened to America during the Cold War. It is a revealing exposé of the forces that distorted our national policy in that conflict and our understanding of its history since.
Evans aims to give empirical proof that those Senator McCarthy accused of spying for the Soviet Union in the 1950s were guilty of it: e.g. two decades of House and Senatorial memos, 1930s Congressional spy investigations, government reports on security, official lists of named security risks, two decades of FBI reports with margin notes, transcripts of FBI wiretaps, notes from political strategy meetings squirreled away in boxes, and so forth. This pastiche of evidence plays the devil with the book's narrative for the first few chapters. So, I'm glad I listened rather than read. In Evan's view, McCarthy was more sinned against than sinning. He conducted his inquiries fairly, did not slander, and did not steamroller anyone. He was an exceptionally bright, lower-class, self-made man who raced through high school and law college. He was a judge while only in his thirties. As junior Senator from Wisconsin (age 41) he threatened to mortify the Whitehouse, Democratic Senate, and State Department, with revelations of a "massive" communist penetration of the U.S. government. Each threatened institution had enough individual power to poleax him. Despite that, the first wave of retribution couldn't touch him, because what he said about communist infiltration was "old news" in Washington circles, and there was years of evidence to prove it. When Democrats lost the House and the Presidency in 1952, McCarthy alienated Eisenhower by soundly condemning George Marshall for losing China, then going after some of Eisenhower's job nominees soft on communism. By 1954 McCarthy held a tiger by the tail and it finally ate him with Republican help.
17 of 22 people found this review helpful
...until you read this book.
Whatever else you think you know about McCarthy, you cannot express an informed, knowledgeable opinion until and unless you read this book.
So much, perhaps most, of the historical record, the factual historical record, about McCarthy has been suppressed deliberately until now.
Regardless of the side of the political aisle on which you reside, you owe it to yourself as a citizen, and to your country as an informed citizen, to read this book.
If it seems too big a task, start at chapter 20. If even that seems too big a task, read chapters 32 and 42.
You will learn things that will astonish you, and that will call into question virtually everything you thought you knew about McCarthy and that era.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Blacklisted by History in three words, what would they be?
History set right
What did you like best about this story?
The clear original research into congressional records to ascertain truth as more important than support for a point of view. McCarthy is not presented as a saint, bot is certainly not the devil either.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Blacklisted by History?
As Paul Harvey used to say "And now you know the rest of the story". Blacklisted by History gives you the "rest" of the story about Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. Yet, we will likely never know the whole story as those who hated Senator McCarthy did their best to skew it, twist it, and bury its many truths. Evans says there is so much more to uncover about it too. Yet, I am grateful for Mr. Evan's having ferreted out crucial facts about this important historical event.
What did you like best about this story?
I liked how the author, M. Stanton Evans, presented the long-held unflattering views about McCarthy in a way that you were certain McCarthy was the monster they claimed he was. And, over and over again, when you began to utterly hate McCarthy because of what the media and mostly the Democrats said about him, Evans throughly and meticulously destroys some of the biggest lies and deceptions about the Senator. The truth leaves you literally shaking your head in disbelief. McCarthy was persecuted by the most diabolical and malicious persons.
Which character – as performed by Tom Weiner – was your favorite?
The narration was superior. And I lost Weiner's voice in the rich story and details. Its tone and pace flowed evenly through the whole book while letting the text stand above it. But it was never monotonous.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Hounded to Death by Hatred.
Any additional comments?
There are forty-five chapters in this book. It is so good, and the details so rich, I don't want to forget any of them. So I am about half way through it the second time. If you want to understand how hard the media and politicians work to lie and deceive, Black Listed By History will help you do that. It will help you better understand how they continue to do it even in the era of the internet, cable news outlets, and A.M. radio. But it is much more difficult for them to get away with it because of these modern developments in communications. And I suspect that that is why modern politics is a far more hair-raising experience for more of us on the sidelines than in days past. The "shadow government" now suspected and much talked about (including the alleged "Deep State") now has to play out their political (and nonpolitical) persecutions more openly. I suspect we can track them a bit more than they would like. If you are wondering what I mean, You Tube some videos by Dr. Steve R. Pieczenik (pronounced pie'-zen'-ick). Seriously, "peace nik?"
This is truly a untold and riveting account of unimaginable histories. The author and his team have done fantastic work with this compilation of the declassified/public record. This book has absolutely shattered my perception of the 20th century. This book is the gateway to an entire world of untold histories and an awakening process.
My only complaint is the delivery of the message by the narrator. I think it would greatly help to have multiple voices narrate such a complex story in order to separate one voice from another and from the narration itself. I had to backtrack repeatedly in order to catch the full scope of the story and to fully comprehend the message being relayed.
Overall, this is an amazing read. I look forward to reading more of this author's works.
This book is excelent in its scope and depth, surprising in its revelations and serves as a great reminder, that we need to constantly revisit history!
In the light of recent anti-Trump campaign we need to be vigilant, not settle for mainstream narrative and dig deeper! But most of all, we need to remember. Highly recommended!
An exceptional analysis of events from a conservative perspective. The book shows the good and bad of all sides involved.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
You must be prepared to have your world rocked, and your beliefs about the nature of the country you grew up in shaken to their core. Do not read this if you are in a fragile frame of mind. The truth about the "McCarthy" era is PROFOUNDLY disturbing. It is also EXTREMELY important, and should be mandatory reading for all Americans.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Blacklisted by History?
When Evans revealed the name of the person who had spent a year revising the security files of the State Department personnel under investigation.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful