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The Rise and Fall of Senator Joe McCarthy

1 rating: 5.0
A book by James Cross Giblin

Grade 7–10—Giblin includes considerable information about McCarthy's background and earlier career, but devotes most of the book to his election to the Senate and use of intimidation and smear tactics to gain enormous political power before … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: James Cross Giblin
Publisher: Clarion Books
1 review about The Rise and Fall of Senator Joe McCarthy

Lessons to be Learned

  • Nov 17, 2009
James Giblin has written a very solid book on the life and time of Joe McCarthy. My only question is, "For who?" The content is a little to "adult" for kids, but not written to a level that more serious students of history will take it seriously.

The Amazon page must be mistaken - it has the recommended ages for kids between 9-12. Impossible - I can't imagine there are more than 20 kids in all of the USA who would read a 300 page book on Joe McCarthy. Also, many parents would be uncomfortable with

- The passage that states that (paraphrased) "Joe liked to date many women but he never tried to form an emotional bond with them."

- Lot's of talk about the people who worked with Joe and if they were homosexual

- Talk of alcoholism

Now that we have established that this may not be the best night-time story for your tween. I will say that it would be excellent for your high schooler.James Giblin does an excellent job of showing the dangers of characters like McCarthy. Sure his treatment is a bit heavy-handed.... but it needed to be. Joe McCarthy used lies and deceit to become a demagogue adn ruined the lives of many americans.

James Giblin shows that the damage inflicted by McCarthy is still being felt today. McCarthy proved that you could become elected and rise to power by instilling fear instead of hope in the voting public.

Finally, "The Rise and Fall of Senator Joe McCarthy" serves as a nice survey of the times. Giblin introduces his readers to many of the people and events that shaped the 1940's and 1950's.

Final Verdict - recommended for everyone 15 and up. As an adult you may need to remind yourself that this is a book written for young adults - and while it may not be written to the intellectual level of Gordon Wood it is still, in my opinion, very worthwhile.

5 Stars

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