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Nightmare in RedThe McCarthy Era in Perspective$
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Richard M. Fried

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780195043617

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195043617.001.0001

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“In Calmer Times.…”

“In Calmer Times.…”

(p.171) 7 “In Calmer Times.…”
Nightmare in Red

Richard M. Fried

Oxford University Press

In 1954, several developments combined to check the momentum of anti-Communist extremism. McCarthy's censure by the Senate was both a sign of and force for change. In the next three years, the atmosphere of the McCarthy era would dissipate. Many institutional underpinnings of the Red Scare endured, but the change was nonetheless profound. About a year into Eisenhower's first term, the loyalty-security apparatus began to attract rising criticism. Previously, publicity had nourished Red-hunters like McCarthy; now it operated to highlight the system's harshness and to discredit, if not the premise of anti-communism, at least the methods by which it was enforced. Potent social forces of the 1950s as consumerism and suburbanization may in some ways have helped cool the fever of McCarthyism.

Keywords:   extremism, McCarthy era, Red Scare, Eisenhower, loyalty, security, consumerism

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