Alger, Ales And Joe

Was McCarthy on the right track? A batch of new books takes a fresh look at the red scare

In 1937, as Stalin's Moscow trials entered their second year and the more alert American comrades began to notice that something was wrong in paradise, Rodgers and Hart opened Babes in Arms on Broadway. One song in the show, I Wish I Were in Love Again, had a friskily sardonic line about "the self-deception that believes the lie." A lyric for the era.

Return to the dialectics of the time: Lie No. 1, communism itself, eventually introduced America to Lie No. 2: "I am not a communist." Which set the stage for Lie No. 3: "I have here in my hand...

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