A good American family : the Red Scare and my father

by Maraniss, David,

Format: Print Book 2019.
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In a riveting book with powerful resonance today, Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss captures the pervasive fear and paranoia that gripped America during the Red Scare of the 1950s through the chilling yet affirming story of his family's ordeal, from blacklisting to vindication.

Elliott Maraniss, David's father, a WWII veteran who had commanded an all-black company in the Pacific, was spied on by the FBI, named as a communist by an informant, called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952, fired from his newspaper job, and blacklisted for five years. Yet he never lost faith in America and emerged on the other side with his family and optimism intact.

In a sweeping drama that moves from the Depression and Spanish Civil War to the HUAC hearings and end of the McCarthy era, Maraniss weaves his father's story through the lives of his inquisitors and defenders as they struggle with the vital twentieth-century issues of race, fascism, communism, and first amendment freedoms. A Good American Family powerfully evokes the political dysfunctions of the 1950s while underscoring what it really means to be an American. It is an unsparing yet moving tribute from a brilliant writer to his father and the family he protected in dangerous times.
The imperfect S
In from the cold
Outside the gate
Red menace
Wheelman wood
Negro, not niggra
A new world coming
A brief Spanish inquisition
The runner
Ace and mary
Fear and loathing
Something in the wind
Know your men
Why I fight
In the blood
The power of America
The Virginian
Foley square
Committee men
A good American family
March 12, 1952
The whole pattern of a life
Witches or traitors
American wanderers
Epilogue. second acts.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Communism was as American as apple pie, according to this searching account of a family's Cold War ideological journey. Pulitzer-winning Washington Post editor Maraniss (Barack Obama) recounts his father Elliott's 1952 testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where he took the Fifth to duck questions about his past membership in the Communist Party but offered an impassioned defense of his constitutional rights; he was fired from his job at a Detroit newspaper and blacklisted for several years. Drawing on Elliott's essays, letters, and FBI files, Maraniss explores his family history-his uncle, who fought in the Spanish Civil War, and mother were also Communists-to show how politics molded individual lives as his father evolved from a left-wing student journalist, idealistic but subservient to the Stalinist party line, to an officer who fought racism in the army in WWII, to a rueful ex-communist liberal who voted for Eisenhower. Maraniss also weaves in insightful studies of other figures in the post-war Red Scare, including his father's African-American attorney George Crockett, who defended communists as allies against Jim Crow, and the grandmotherly FBI informant who denounced Elliott. Clear-eyed and empathetic, Maraniss's engrossing portrait of a patriotic, baseball-loving red reveals the complex human motivations underneath the era's clashing dogmas. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Maraniss, David -- Family.
Maraniss, Elliott, -- 1918-2004.
Maraniss, David.
United States. -- Congress. -- House. -- Committee on Un-American Activities.
Anti-communist movements -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Anti-communist movements.
Politics and government.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1945-1953.
United States.
Publisher New York :2019.
Edition First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Language English
Description pages cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 9781501178375
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