Chapter

“In Calmer Times.…”

Richard M. Fried

in Nightmare in Red

Published in print July 1991 | ISBN: 9780195043617
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199853724 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195043617.003.0007
“In Calmer Times.…”

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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

Chapter.  8447 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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