Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America
Little, Brown, New York, 1998; paperback edition, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J., 1999
In this sobering account of McCarthyism, Ellen Schrecker illuminates a dark moment in our history whose impact reverberates to this day. Much more than the aberrant behavior of a single senator, the movement to which Joseph McCarthy gave his name was the longest lasting and widespread episode of political repression in American history.
Many Are the Crimes shows how McCarthyism actually worked. A massive campaign to expunge the wildly exaggerated threat of domestic Communism from the United States, it pervaded every sector of American life. Though most victims of that campaign were on the Left, the forces that administered and facilitated it ranged across the political spectrum from right-wing reactionaries to Social Democrats. Its very diversity assured its success … and should alert us to the dangers of reoccurrence.
"Outstanding Academic Book, 1998" Choice
"Top 25 Books of 1998," New York Public Library
“A valuable contribution for anyone who would understand the dynamics of the domestic cold war. [Schrecker] has provided an alternative framework that does much to put McCarthyism in America in perspective.”
― Victor Navasky, The Nation
“[Schrecker's] thoughtful and earnest new study, Many Are the Crimes, offers the most comprehensive view yet of the process that turned a legal, political, economic, and cultural crusade into `the home front of the Cold War.'”
― Henry Mayer, San Francisco Examiner Chronicle
“It's all here, carefully researched, well written, and with a detached view of both the pursuers and the pursued. Excellent.”
— John Kenneth Galbraith, Harvard University
“If the national memory is ever to reach closure on this tragic episode, Schrecker's analysis is a significant and compelling contribution.”
— William J. Preston, Jr., Los Angeles Times
“Schrecker's book is distinguished from its forerunners by its comprehensive scholarship (soundly based in archival research), lucid exposition and calm intelligence.”
— Hugh Brogan, Times Literary Supplement