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The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays And Lesbians in the Federal Government

ISBN: 9780226401904 | 0226401901
Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 3/1/2006

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From Hollywood films to high school textbooks, Senator Joseph McCarthy is universally depicted as an evil demagogue who unleashed a Red Scare against suspected communists. But in The Lavender Scare, historian David K. Johnson reveals that much of McCarthy's support stemmed less from his wild charges about communists than his more substantiated charges that "sex perverts" had infiltrated government agencies. Warning of a spreading homosexual menace, McCarthy and his Republican allies introduced "moral values" into the American political arsenal and helped win back the White House after twenty years of Democratic control. Drawing on newly declassified documents and interviews with former government officials, Johnson chronicles how the myth that homosexuals threatened national security ruined thousands of lives and pushed many to suicide. Winner of the 2004 Herbert Hoover Book Award and the 2004 Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction, The Lavender Scare is not only a masterful investigation of Cold War hysteria over national security but a provocative examination of the origins of contemporary struggles over sexual politics. Book jacket.

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