© 1998

McCarthy’s Americans

Red Scare Politics in State and Nation, 1935–1965

  • Examines the origins of McCarthyism
    Extensive original research in archival sources
    Provides many new insights by investigating a neglected aspect of the McCarthy witchhunt


Part of the American History in Depth book series (AHD)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Red Scare Politics in the States

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-6
  3. Red Scare Politics in Michigan

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 79-82
    2. M. J. Heale
      Pages 104-124
    3. M. J. Heale
      Pages 125-148
  4. Red Scare Politics in Massachusetts

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 149-152
    2. M. J. Heale
      Pages 171-190
    3. M. J. Heale
      Pages 191-212
  5. Red Scare Politics in Georgia

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 213-217
    2. M. J. Heale
      Pages 218-233
    3. M. J. Heale
      Pages 254-276
  6. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 277-280
    2. M. J. Heale
      Pages 281-301
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 302-370

About this book


Was the communist witch hunt unleashed by Senator Joe McCarthy an aberration, or has red scare politics been an intrinsic part of American political life since the 1930s? Was McCarthyism a populist or an elitist phenomenon? Was Senator McCarthy virtually irrelevant to the phenomenon?

This book shows that some of the contending interpretations of McCarthyism are mutually compatible and reveals the importance of pressures usually overlooked. Professor Heale's deeply-probing study of Joe McCarthy's `hinterland' in the American states, demonstrates that what is usually called McCarthyism was part of a political cycle, that emerged in the 1930s and took two decades to run its course.

Professor Heale also argues that much of the red scare dynamic came from the big cities and the white South. It was here that a range of interests exhibiting a fundamentalist fury with the changing times - that the political order had fashioned during the New Deal years - rested on fragile foundations. Defying the `consensus liberalism' of the 1950s, Joe McCarthy and, more importantly, the many little McCarthys in the states, kept alive a brand of right-wing politics, preparing the way for George Wallace in the 1960s and the revitalised conservatism of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.


America communism interpret nation politics

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Lancaster UniversityUK

About the authors

M. J. HEALE is Professor of American History at Lancaster University.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title McCarthy’s Americans
  • Book Subtitle Red Scare Politics in State and Nation, 1935–1965
  • Authors M.J. Heale
  • Series Title American History in Depth
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998
  • Publisher Name Palgrave, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave Social & Cultural Studies Collection Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-333-69833-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-14548-5
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-349-14546-1
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVII, 392
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Additional Information Previously published under the imprint Palgrave
  • Topics US History
  • Buy this book on publisher's site