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Courses / Modules / HIST2234 McCarthyism


When you'll study it
Semester 1
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 5
Module lead
Kendrick Oliver
Academic year

Module overview

‘I have here in my hand a list of 205 names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in that State Department.'

With these words, asserting both the existence of an internal communist menace and the government failure to act against it, Senator Joseph McCarthy thrust himself into the centre of US national politics. His inquisition into communist subversives and spies lasted from 1950 to 1954. But ‘McCarthyism' as a phenomenon was more deeply-rooted, more enduring and much broader in scope than the career and campaigns of a single politician. This module explores the causes, course and effects of McCarthyism writ large, from the end of the Second World War through to the late 1950s.