The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and by David K. Johnson

By David K. Johnson

The McCarthy period is usually thought of the worst interval of political repression in fresh American historical past. yet whereas the recognized query, "Are you currently or have you been a member of the Communist Party?" resonated within the halls of Congress, defense officers have been posing one other query at the very least as often, if extra discreetly: "Information has come to the eye of the Civil carrier fee that you're a gay. What remark do you care to make?"

Historian David okay. Johnson the following relates the scary, untold tale of the way, through the chilly struggle, homosexuals have been regarded as risky a risk to nationwide safety as Communists. fees that the Roosevelt and Truman administrations have been havens for homosexuals proved a effective political weapon, sparking a "Lavender Scare" extra vehement and long-lasting than McCarthy's purple Scare. hoping on newly declassified files, years of study within the documents of the nationwide records and the FBI, and interviews with former civil servants, Johnson recreates the colourful homosexual culture that flourished in New Deal-era Washington and takes us contained in the defense interrogation rooms the place hundreds of thousands of american citizens have been puzzled approximately their intercourse lives. The gay purges ended promising careers, ruined lives, and driven many to suicide. yet, as Johnson additionally indicates, the purges introduced sufferers jointly to protest their remedy, aiding release a brand new civil rights struggle.

The Lavender Scare shatters the parable that homosexuality has just recently develop into a countrywide political factor, altering the best way we predict approximately either the McCarthy period and the origins of the homosexual rights circulation. and maybe simply as importantly, this booklet is a cautionary story, reminding us of the way acts taken via the govt. within the identify of "national safety" through the chilly warfare ended in the infringement of the civil liberties of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

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