Named for the Wisconsin senator who held the national spotlight from 1950 to 1954, McCarthyism became the term for accusing someone of treason without providing evidence. Why did so many Americans find his charges credible? Who backed him, and who tried to stop him? What finally ended the broader Red Scare (in which Joseph McCarthy was only one of many players), and what was its legacy? What lessons does it hold for our current moment?
Themes include: civil liberties and national security; reactionary populism (including white supremacism, gender conservatism, xenophobia, nationalism, anti-statism, anti-intellectualism); role of right-wing media.