Television and McCarthyism Book Review

Television and McCarthyism
A review of Thomas Doherty's "Cold War, Cool Medium Television, McCarthyism and American Culture".
# 153924 | 0 words | 0 sources | 2014 | FR
Published on Jun 17, 2014 in International Relations (Cold War) , Political Science (Communism)

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From the Paper:

"In Cold War, Cool Medium Television, McCarthyism and American Culture, Thomas Doherty explores the relationship between the rise of television as a new medium and the era McCarthyism from the late 1940s to the late 1950s. Doherty takes us back to the origins of television and analyses its role during the Cold War, explaining that it became a prominent aspect of American society as it collided with the major issues that emerged out of the Cold War. Doherty's main argument is that television transformed post-war America into a more open-minded nation, that is to say that it enabled to break down the limits of freedoms.
"In the first two chapters, Thomas Doherty concentrates on telling us that shortly after World War II, television became an important item within the American household. He explains that the link between television and the communist menace led to the notion of "blacklisting" which became part of the media industry with the publication of Red Channels: the Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television. He defines "blacklisting" as the "the practice of refusing to hire or terminating from employment an individual whose opinions or associations are deemed politically inconvenient or commercially troublesome". Doherty also affirms that McCarthyism is not limited to Senator Joseph McCarthy, known for accusing many of being communist spies inside the American government, but that it is a much wider concept. He says, "McCarthyism is more '-ism' than man". McCarthy's role was in fact only limited to government.
"As Doherty says it, after World War II, the fear of communist infiltration into the media industry widened even more. As television became a popular medium, many media-related artists were accused of being reds and were submitted to hearings. Doherty extends his argument by giving us two examples: first, actor Philip Loeb from The Goldbergs, a show that follows the life of a Jewish-American family, and secondly, actress Lucille Ball from I Love Lucy."

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