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History Corner






Barbara Tuchman on McCathyism-1950


Barbara W. Tuchman, The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam (1984; Alfred A. Knopf), p. 259.


‘The witch-hunts of McCarthyism, of the House Un-American Activities Committee, the informers, the blacklists and the fire-eaters of the Republican Right and the China Lobby, the trial of wrecked careers, had plunged the country into a fit of moral cowardice.


Everyone, in and out of office, trembled in anxiety to prove his anti-Communist credentials.

The anxious included [John Foster] Dulles, who, according to an associate, lived in constant apprehension that the McCarthy attack might turn next upon him.

Less intensely, it reached up to the President, as shown by Eisenhower’s silent acquiescence in McCarthy’s attacks upon General Marshall.
Nothing was so ridiculous, Macaulay once wrote, as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality and nothing so craven, it could be added, as the American public in its fit of the 1950s.’