No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the Universities

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1986 - Education - 437 pages
0 Reviews
The story of McCarthyism's traumatic impact on government employees and Hollywood screenwriters during the 1950s is all too familiar, but what happened on college and university campuses during this period is barely known.No Ivory Towerrecounts the previously untold story of how the anti-Communist furor affected the nation's college teachers, administrators, trustees, and students. As Ellen Schrecker shows, the hundreds of professors who were called before HUAC and otehr committees confronted the same dilemma most other witnesses had faced. They had to decide whether to cooperate with the committees and "name names" or to refuse such cooperation and risk losing their jobs. Drawing on heretofore untouched archives and dozens of eprsonal interviews, Schrecker re-creates the climate of fear that pervaded American campuses and made the nation's educational leaders worry about Communist subversion as well as about the damage that unfriendly witnesses might do to the reputations of their institutions. Noting that faculty members who failed to cooperate with congressional committees were usually fired even if they had tenure, Schrecker shows that these firings took place everywhere--at Ivy League universities, large state schools and small private colleges. The presence of an unofficial but effective blacklist, she reveals, meant that most of these unfrocked professors were unable to find regular college teaching jobs in the U.S. until the 1960s, after the McCarthyist furor had begun to subside.No Ivory Toweroffers new perspectives on McCarthyism as a political movement and helps to explain how that movement, which many people even then saw as a betrayal of this nation's most cherished ideals, gained so much power.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


McCarthyism The Anatomy of an Inquisition 3
Academic Communists
The Political Repression

12 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1986)

About the Author:
Ellen W. Schrecker teaches history at Yeshiva University.

Bibliographic information