Considering Joe McCarthy

In tomorrow’s Washington Post Book World Ronald Radosh reviews Ted Morgan’s re-evaluation of Joe McCarthy and the Communist threat. Morgan’s book is Reds: McCarthyism in Twentieth-Century America, and Radosh’s review is “Spooked.”
This is a great pairing of book and reviewer. Radosh is the co-author of the definitive book on the Rosenberg case (The Rosenberg File) as well as a political autobiography (Commies) charting his journey through the old left, the new left and what he calls the leftover left.
Morgan is an interesting guy in his own right. He is the former Sanche de Gramont. He was born a French aristocrat, the son of a Free French hero. “Ted Morgan” is an anagram of his French name, de Gramont.
As an adult he abandoned France to become an American by choice and adopted his anagramatized, Americanized name. He devotes one of his many books to the subject, On Becoming American. I believe he is the only French citizen (which he was at the time) ever to have won the Pulitzer Prize.
In looking around on the Web for additional information about Morgan I came across an interesting 2000 review by Thomas Powers on a spate of books on Soviet espionage, including one of Morgan’s earlier books. The review is on point with Morgan’s new book and Radosh’s review: “The plot thickens.”


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