- This event has passed.
Virtual Lunch & Learn Book Club – Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy
August 12 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm$5
New York Times bestselling author Larry Tye will discuss his new book, Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy. Tye got first-ever and exclusive access to the senator’s personal and professional papers, which were under lock-and-key at Marquette for 60 years, along with his medical and military records. These new records give a more nuanced sense of who the Red-baiting senator was, why Wisconsin elected and re-elected, and how McCarthy and McCarthyism matter more now than ever. Tye also will discuss convincing evidence that McCarthy was anti-Semitic as well as anti-Communist and anti-gay.
Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy
In the long history of American demagogues, from Huey Long to Donald Trump, never has one man caused so much damage in such a short time as Senator Joseph McCarthy. We still use “McCarthyism” to stand for outrageous charges of guilt by association, a weapon of polarizing slander. From 1950 to 1954, McCarthy destroyed many careers and even entire lives, whipping the nation into a frenzy of paranoia, accusation, loyalty oaths, and terror. When the public finally turned on him, he came crashing down, dying of alcoholism in 1957. Only now, through bestselling author Larry Tye’s exclusive look at the senator’s records, can the full story be told.
Demagogue is a masterful portrait of a human being capable of immense evil, yet beguiling charm. McCarthy was a tireless worker and a genuine war hero. His ambitions knew few limits. Neither did his socializing, his drinking, nor his gambling. When he finally made it to the Senate, he flailed around in search of an agenda and angered many with his sharp elbows and lack of integrity. Finally, after three years, he hit upon anti-communism. By recklessly charging treason against everyone from George Marshall to much of the State Department, he became the most influential and controversial man in America. His chaotic, meteoric rise is a gripping and terrifying object lesson for us all. Yet his equally sudden fall from fame offers reason for hope that, given the rope, most American demagogues eventually hang themselves.
Registration is Required to Access the Zoom Session