McCarthyism and the Red Scare Questions and Answers

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In the political cartoon "You read books, eh?" (1949), how does the artist critique the "anti-subversive" efforts that took place during the Second Red Scare? In what ways does the McCarthy Era continue to influence American society?

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Herbert Block's cartoon shows a woman who appears to be a teacher cowering behind her desk, while two seated inquisitors glare at her, and another six agents search her classroom for evidence of subversive thought or activity. Behind the desk is a large map of Europe which has attracted the attention of three agents. One searches behind it, while the others appear to be preparing to mutilate it with a pair of scissors. The man with the scissors is pointing to the letters "U.S.S.R." on the map. This eloquently makes the point that anything can be made to appear subversive if you are selective enough. A map of Europe is a perfectly normal thing to find in a classroom, but if they cut out the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, they can present it as evidence that the teacher has been focusing on America's enemy. Other agents rifle through the desk drawers and the wastepaper basket, while one looks askance at a picture of Thomas Jefferson on the wall.

The cartoon shows the various ways in...

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