Essay on America's Communism Scare and the Hollywood Blacklist

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BLACKLIST - A list of persons who are under suspicion, disfavor, or censure, or who are not to be hired, served, or otherwise accepted.
-- http://www.merriam-webster.com/

During the late 1940’s and throughout the 1950’s, there was a great fear of Communism in America and abroad. The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) was created in 1938 as a means to investigate and weed out Communists and Communist supporters from American society. Its first major attack was on the Hollywood film industry. Blacklisting of Hollywood writers, actors, producers, directors and others suspected of Communist affiliations began with the committee's hearings in October of 1947, and flourished throughout the 1950s. Senator Joseph
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The individuals, who were persecuted during what is now referred to as the “McCarthy Era,” had their once prominent careers destroyed. They lost their friends and family, and all based on untrue rumors which were spread about them, such as planning to start a revolution and attempt to overthrow the Government of the United States. At no time did the Communist Party have the manpower or financial resources to do anything more than a small demonstration and no party member from Hollywood gave serious thought to even that idea.

Blacklisted writers, such as Walter Bernstein, Abraham Polonsky, and Lester Cole had a very difficult time finding work and trying to survive during the period of the blacklist. Suspected Communist sympathizers went through a horrifying experience during the HUAC hearings, as they were constantly and consistently harassed by the FBI and other agencies and people who tried to force already known Communists to “name names” of other various questionable individuals. The ideas and works of these writers, because of their leftist views, were a cause for alarm in Congress, and a reason for dire concern among the rest of society.

For blacklistees, finding work was a very challenging task. Writers such as Walter Bernstein, Abraham