Landon R. Y. Storrs specializes in twentieth-century U.S. social and political history, particularly in the history of women, social movements, and public policy. She is the author of The Second Red Scare and the Unmaking of the New Deal Left (2012). Based on newly declassified government records and freshly unearthed private papers, this book demonstrates that the federal employee loyalty program—created in the 1940s in response to fears that communists were infiltrating the U.S. government—had a much broader policy impact than has been understood. The loyalty program not only destroyed or distorted the careers of many noncommunist officials; it also prohibited discussion of social democratic policy ideas in government circles, narrowing the scope of American political discourse to this day. Another theme of Storrs's scholarship has been the antifeminism of the "Old Right"; her books and several articles explore how conservatives exploited popular hostility to female government officials in order to discredit left-liberal policies.
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.