Step back into the 1950s of the McCarthy Era with the Hampton Historical Society's history book group on Sunday, September 24, at 4 p.m. at the Tuck Museum. The book to be discussed is Ike and McCarthy: Dwight Eisenhower's Secret Campaign Against Joseph McCarthy by David A. Nichols, published in the spring of 2017.
"The group selected this book because nothing new has been available about the McCarthy Era in quite a while," said Barbara Tosiano, Director of the Hampton Falls Free Library, who leads the book group. "The author, who is an Eisenhower scholar, presents the thesis that Dwight Eisenhower, as President of the United States, was working behind the scenes to discredit McCarthy.
"The group talked about Eisenhower when we discussed a previous book, Citizens of London: The Americans who Stood With Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour by Lynne Olson, so we decided to continue learning about Eisenhower," said Tosiano.
"People tend to think of Eisenhower as a grandfatherly figure who played a lot of golf," she continued. "But he was also a General in the U.S. Army - a powerful person with a strong military background."
Senator Joseph McCarthy publicly charged that communists had infiltrated the U.S. State Department. He subsequently became chair of the Senate's subcommittee on investigations of anti-American activities. His investigations of government departments and questioning of numerous witnesses resulted in the "Red Scare."
McCarthy was eventually discredited and died in 1957 at the age of 49. Whether Eisenhower played a role in McCarthy being discredited will be part of a lively discussion.
The treat from the 1950s will be Cocoanut Loaf Cake, which was served at Howard Johnson's restaurants located along highways. Eisenhower promoted the interstate highway system.
All are welcome to attend the book discussion.