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Hollywood's BlacklistsA Political and Cultural History$
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Reynold Humphries

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748624553

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624553.001.0001

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None Shall Escape: The Hearings of 1951–1953

None Shall Escape: The Hearings of 1951–1953

(p.105) 5 None Shall Escape: The Hearings of 1951–1953
Hollywood's Blacklists

Reynold Humphries

Edinburgh University Press

There was little cause for optimism in Hollywood in 1948, yet the events that came to pass within three years must have exceeded the worst fears. In 1949, the Soviet Union exploded its first atom bomb and the Communists seized power in China. In February 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy claimed the State Department was harbouring 205 Communists and four months later, the Korean War erupted when the Communist North invaded the pro-American South. Korea was the icing on the cake for Cold War warriors, yet it was simply the culminating point in their ideological war and its concomitant repression. The Internal Security Act was voted in 1950, during the Korean War. It was sponsored by three members of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC): Richard Nixon, Harold Velde (a former FBI agent) and Francis Walter. This chapter examines the HUAC hearings conducted during 1951–1953 and how the Hollywood blacklist of alleged Communists was conjured during that time.

Keywords:   HUAC, Richard Nixon, Harold Velde, Francis Walter, congressional hearings, Hollywood, blacklist, Communists, Joseph McCarthy, Internal Security Act

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