THE RISE AND FALL OF SENATOR JOE MCCARTHY by James Cross Giblin
Kirkus Star

THE RISE AND FALL OF SENATOR JOE MCCARTHY

Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

A masterful chronicle of one of 20th-century America’s most catastrophically influential figures. The Sibert Medal winner portrays McCarthy as an energetic and personable campaigner with a gift for public speaking and also as a manipulative opportunist who readily resorted to personal attacks and distortion or fabrication of facts to win elections and advance his agenda. Giblin’s most revealing insight into McCarthy’s character is his utter lack of conviction in any cause he championed, even his infamous anti-Communist crusade in the 1940s and ’50s—which, the author argues, could not have lasted as long as it did without the complicity of fellow legislators and President Eisenhower, who, however reprehensible they found his tactics, were too fearful of appearing “soft on Communism” to challenge him. This lucid, authoritative portrait offers readers a compelling, real-life cautionary tale of blind ambition and the reckless pursuit of power. A tour de force. (bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-618-61058-7
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2009




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