Friday, January 08, 2010

purging libraries

In March 1953, at the height of the Cold War, with the Rosenbergs awaiting electrocution, Senator Joe McCarthy investigated the presence of certain books in State Department-sponsored overseas libraries. One writer whose books the libraries stocked was William Mandel, United Press expert on the WW2-era Soviet Union. Roy Cohen, David Schine and McCarthy's other staff named Mandel as a member of the Communist Party. Televised throughout the U.S. and watched by 40 million viewers, Mandel's defiance of the powerful Senator was unprecedented. Here is a 30-minute preview of a film about the McCarthy-Mandel confrontation. Mandel's reasonable-toned rejoinders of senators' questions permits little entry-point for senatorial bullying and he goes on to give a fairly cogent reply to McCarthyism.