Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson - Part 4 Chapter 23 Summary & Analysis

Robert Caro
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Part 4 Chapter 23 Summary

LBJ did not lead the charge in the dominant domestic issue of the 1950s, Joseph R. McCarthy's demagogic witch-hunt for Reds infiltrating American society. He stepped forward only when there was no longer any risk in doing so.

In February1950, the junior senator from Wisconsin addressed a women's club in Wheeling, WV, where he announced that he had in his hand a list of 205 active State Department employees who were communists. In the years to come, McCarthy would misuse senatorial powers of investigation to destroy the lives and reputations of thousands of innocent citizens, knowing that the Senate's rules of decorum and civility would shield him from censure. Liberal senators were outraged by McCarthy's bald-faced lies and inventions and declared that the Senate was being debased by allowing him to assassinate characters in its halls. They repeatedly appealed to LBJ to...

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