Review: Loyalty and Legislative Action Essay

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Loyalty and Legislative Action provides a well researched and considered survey and critique of the various activities of the New York state legislature, aimed at ferreting out the dreaded “red menace” from within the state's public education system. It was published in 1951 as part of Cornell's “Studies in Civil Liberty” series. The series was funded by a grant of over a hundred thousand dollars from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1948, “to encourage scholarly research in the field of civil liberties under the present internal security program”.1 The work was one of three which had originally been slated to be part of a summary volume in the series entitled The States and Subversion. However it along with similar accounts of the Tenney …show more content…
Loyalty and Legislative Action provides a well researched and considered survey and critique of the various activities of the New York state legislature, aimed at ferreting out the dreaded “red menace” from within the state's public education system. It was published in 1951 as part of Cornell's “Studies in Civil Liberty” series. The series was funded by a grant of over a hundred thousand dollars from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1948, “to encourage scholarly research in the field of civil liberties under the present internal security program”.1 The work was one of three which had originally been slated to be part of a summary volume in the series entitled The States and Subversion. However it along with similar accounts of the Tenney Committee in California and the Canwell Committee in Washington were selected by Professor Robert Cushman the series editor for individual publication because of their excellent scholarship. This has proven to be a most judicious decision, as this volume, as well as the others written by Edward Barrett from UC-Berkely and Vern Countryman of Yale, have been widely cited by subsequent generations of scholars in the field, like Julian Jaffe, Stephen Leberstein, and Marjorie Heins. While a close perusal undoubtedly acquaints the reader, at least in a vicarious nature, with a sense of the prevailing paranoia over the perceived threat of communist infiltrators running amok in the government, schools, and organized labor of America at the time, the
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