Was Senator Joseph McCarthy a lying, demagogue bent on destroying American civil liberties? Or was McCarthy instead a determined foe of dangerous Communist spies during the early 1950s? H.W. Brands calls McCarthy a “virtuoso of the political attack” who “tapped into anxieties current in the American psyche,” but also acknowledges that some of those “anxieties were perfectly rational” (52-53). Students in History 118 need to review the evidence themselves and offer their tentative conclusions. What were the principal causes of the intensifying “Red Scare” of the late 1940s and early 1950s? How should Americans describe this era and what lessons, if any, seem most relevant? The issue has special relevance for Dickinson College since the school was censured in 1956 by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) for firing an economics professor (Laurent LaVallee) for invoking the Fifth Amendment when he was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities (HUAC) committee. See this article from the Chicago Tribune and also this background from the Lionel Lewis’ book, Cold War on Campus (available through Google Books). Brands also explains the impact of the Korean War on the Cold War and how containment doctrine began to evolve in dangerous new ways under President Eisenhower. Students in History 118 should be able to describe and explain the significance of covert operations in the mid-1950s, for example, and special items like the Doolittle report of 1954.