In the early 1950s, a great wave of anti-Communist hysteria swept across America. The Constitutional rights of countless Americans came under fierce attack, and the reputations of many good men and women were destroyed.
While the history of the McCarthy hearings is well known, much less attention has been paid to how McCarthyism affected public life outside Washington, in local communities and around the nation. One of those communities was Cincinnati, where in 1953 two members of the city planning commission – Henry Bettman and Wallace T. Collett, the author of this book – came under bitter attack for defending the rights of a city planner who years earlier had been briefly associated with a Marxist study group.
In telling his story, Collett draws on his personal journals of the time, as well as on the public record. Collett, a successful businessman, now retired, is a lifelong Quaker who served during the Vietnam War period as chairman of the American Friends Service Committee.