David Caute Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. - Essay

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

In ["The Great Fear: The Anti-Communist Purge under Truman and Eisenhower"] Mr. Caute, the English novelist and historian, examines the ravages of the great fear a quarter of a century ago in the United States. It is a story too many Americans have comfortably forgotten. Here it is recorded in pitiless detail—the madness of the times, the fright in Congress, state legislatures and the press, the purges in Government, the professions, the arts, the unions, the reaction in the courts, the awful human price in wrecked careers and blasted lives. It is a shameful story. I trust it will remind us in bad times to come that the Constitution remains a sounder guide than patriotic paranoia. No single work contains so much of...

(The entire section is 855 words.)