Last updated on January 1, 2020
On May 2, 1957, Joseph Raymond “Joe” McCarthy dies at the age of 48 in Bethesda, Maryland from the effects of acute hepatitis. The late Senator from the state of Wisconsin is famously remembered for his campaign to extricate employees from positions within the United States government suspected of being members of the American communist party, under the direction of the Soviet Union. During his campaign and for many years following his death, McCarthy was viewed as being paranoid about communism, intent on ruining the lives and reputations of honorary citizens and a self-destructive force who died in part due his own personal demons. One of the beautiful things about history is the ability to look back and re-examine events in the quest to find out what really happened. More than 50 years after his death, McCarthy’s name is still mentioned in conversation and used as the end of jokes about anyone who is suspected of being overly concerned about any type of foreign influence on the domestic policies of the United States. But just who was the real Joseph McCarthy? And was he the out of control hunter of communist who attacked his targets at all costs?
M. Stanton Evans answers these questions and more in this definitive look into the life and actions of the late Senator. Painstakingly researched, Evans’ account is both eye-opening and sobering for it reveals the true Joseph McCarthy and his beliefs regarding communist ideology in American society and the espionage that had been occurring throughout the U.S. government by agents of the Soviet Union. Through Evans’ research, a new picture of McCarthy emerges that is in stark contrast from the historically jaded image that we’ve come to recognize. A new McCarthy is seen, as man who through patriotic beliefs, leads a crusade against what was then a threat to the national security of the United States. Targeted by enemies in the State Department and the Truman administration, a war was unleashed to discredit McCarthy at all costs. Fabrications, missing evidence and evasive testimony would serve as the foundation for endless attacks upon his credibility and beliefs. The Watkins committee and its final result remain the darkest time in McCarthy’s life next to his untimely death.
Evan’s account is a masterpiece of investigative and contains a full roster of some of the most remembered names in history, many of them making an appearance in the book. He was hated by some and loved by others, but his name and crusades remain a critical part in U.S. history. Judgment is often passed quickly upon him, but most fail to see the true Joseph McCarthy and the patriotic battle he waged against an enemy within. The most tragic part of his story, is that it took decades for his vindication to take place. We now know that not only was he right about his beliefs but the hunt for Soviet moles within the U.S. government continued for decades after his death and would reach its culmination under the direction of the mysterious CIA Chief of Counterintelligence, James J. Angleton. Harry Truman once remarked that the only truth is the history we do not yet know. Truer words have never been spoken. For the real story on the crusade of Joseph McCarthy, this is it.