A Thousand Clowns Historical Context

Herb Gardner
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During the 1950s, there was a widespread belief in the United States that members of the Communist Party posed a serious threat to national security. Although the American Communist Party had existed in the United States since the 1920s as a vocal but ineffectual political force, tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States led many to see communists as allies of the enemy. This in turn led to a restriction of civil rights for those who were members of the Communist Party and even for those who were only suspected of being communists. In the federal government, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the House Un-American Activities Committee worked in secrecy to identify suspected communists and pressured employers to dismiss them. Many people lost their jobs at universities, in labor unions, and in government offices, because of suspected communist activities. In...

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This section contains 762 words
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A Thousand Clowns from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.