The scholars of the second wave focused on American anticommunism, notAmerican communism. They regarded McCarthyism and the popular anticommunism ofthe late 1940s and 1950s as despicable phenomena that had inflicted gravedamage on American culture, subverted democratic liberties, and ruinedcountless innocent lives. What gave these scholars their cohesiveness was theextent to which they placed the blame for McCarthyism on anti-Communistliberals. In the mainstream histories written in the 1950s and early 1960s,anti-Communist liberals usually had received positive and often glowingtreatment. The often pugnaciously ‘revisionist’ historians of the late 1960sand early 1970s, however, presented a highly negative evaluation. Althoughthese writers differed among themselves on some matters, their common approachcan be seen in The Specter: Original Essays on the Cold War and the Originsof McCarthyism, a volume that brought together major revisionist scholarsin a collection of essays that battered anticommunism in general, butanti-Communist liberalism in particular, from every quarter. To theserevisionists, anti-Communist liberals had legitimated an inherently evilimpulse, anticommunism, and thereby set the stage for its logical product,McCarthyism, as well as partial responsibility for the Vietnam War, bothevidence of the immorality of opposition to communism9]
9. Robert Griffith and Athan Theoharis, eds., Specter: Original Essays on the Cold War and the Origins of McCarthyism(New York: New Viewpoints, 1974). Authors in the volume include Leslie Adler,Richard Fried, Robert Griffith, Peter Irons, Ronald Lora, Donald Crosby,Michael O’Brien, Norman Markowitz, and David Oshinsky.
Essay on the Cold War: it’s Origin, Causes and Phases
Among key secondary sources consulted were Alan Barth, The Loyalty of Free Men (New York: Pocket Books, 1952); Carl Bernstein, Loyalties: A Son's Memoir (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989); Eleanor Bontecou, The Federal-Loyalty Security Program (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1953); David Caute, The Great Fear: The Anti-Communist Purge under Truman and Eisenhower (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1978); Clark Clifford, Counsel to the President: A Memoir (New York: Random House, 1991); Richard Freeland, The Truman Doctrine and the Origins of McCarthyism: Foreign Policy, Domestic Politics, and Internal Security, 1946–1948 (New York: Schocken, 1974); Richard Fried, Nightmare in Red: The McCarthy Era in Perspective (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990); Robert Griffith and Athan Theoharis, eds., The Spector: Original Essays on the Cold War and the Origins of McCarthyism (New York: New Viewpoints, 1974); Alan Harper, The Politics of Loyalty: The White House and the Communist Issue, 1946–1952 (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1969); Athan Theoharis, Seeds of Repression: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of McCarthyism (Chicago: Quadrangle, 1971); Francis Thompson, The Frustration of Politics: Truman, Congress, and the Loyalty Issue, 1945–1953 (Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1979); and Michael Ybarra, Washington Gone Crazy: Senator Pat McCarran and the Great American Communist Hunt (Hanover, NH: Steerforth, 2004).