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Loyalty and LibertyAmerican Countersubversion from World War I to the McCarthy Era$
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Alex Goodall

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038037

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038037.001.0001

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Red Scare

Red Scare

The Triumph of Countersubversion

Chapter:
(p.60) 3 Red Scare
Source:
Loyalty and Liberty
Author(s):

Alex Goodall

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252038037.003.0004

This chapter looks at how the government began 1919 by beating a retreat from political policing, far from charging toward a Red Scare. However, much of the private-sector machinery of countersubversion still remained in place. Voluntarist groups were less concerned with constitutional restrictions on political policing than Congress or the White House and, having benefited directly from the wartime campaign, sought to continue their activities. In so doing, they tended to drift away from the basic question of national security that had shaped wartime policy and toward matters of personal interest. Having already demonstrated their efficacy, national security justifications for countersubversive activism persisted, but they became increasingly tenuous, as individual groups sought to denounce their rivals as disloyal, treasonous, and a danger to the general good.

Keywords:   political policing, Red Scare, countersubversion, wartime campaign, national security, activism

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