Books: The Nihilist

SENATOR JOE MCCARTHY (280 pp.) —Richard Rovere—Harcourt, Brace ($3.95).

"A man of loose tongue, intemperate, trusting to tumult, leading the populace to mischief with empty words." That is how Euripides described the typical demagogue, and that is also how Reporter Richard Rovere sees the subject of his biography. Yet it is a measure of McCarthy's defeat that, only two years after his death, it takes an effort of the imagination to recall the shifty but haunted eyes, the spurious rhetoric, the rasping voice ("Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman! Point of order!") that could not be halted by the gavel of reason. The...

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