The McCarthy era is generally considered the worst period of political repression in recent American history. But while the famous question, Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party? resonated in the halls of Congress, security officials were posing another question at least as frequently, if more discreetly: Information has come to the attention of the Civil Service Commission that you are a homosexual. What comment do you care to make?
The Lavender Scare shatters the myth that homosexuality has only recently become a national political issue, changing the way we think about both the McCarthy era and the origins of the gay rights movement. And perhaps just as importantly, this book is a cautionary tale, reminding us of how acts taken by the government in the name of national security during the Cold War resulted in the infringement of the civil liberties of thousands of Americans.
David K. Johnson is an associate professor in the department of history at the University of South Florida.
- Publisher: University of Chicago Press (May 15, 2006)
- Language: English
- Paperback: 312 pages
- ISBN-10: 0226401901
- ISBN-13: 9780226401904
- Item Weight: 1.12 pounds
- Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches