No Sense of Decency

No Sense of Decency

The Army-McCarthy Hearings: A Demagogue Falls and Television Takes Charge of American Politics

By Robert Shogan

Ivan R. Dee Publisher, Hardcover, 9781566637701, 320pp.

Publication Date: February 16, 2009

"Have you no sense of decency, sir?" asked attorney Robert Welch in a climactic moment in the 1954 Senate hearings that pitted Joseph R. McCarthy against the United States Army, President Dwight Eisenhower, and the rest of the political establishment. What made the confrontation unprecedented and magnified its impact was its gavel-to-gavel coverage by television. Thirty-six days of hearings transfixed the nation. With a journalist's eye for revealing detail, Robert Shogan traces the phenomenon and analyzes television's impact on government. Despite McCarthy's fall, Mr. Shogan points out, the hearings left a major item of unfinished business the issue of McCarthyism, the strategy based on fear, smear, and guilt by association.

About the Author
Shogan is national politcial correspondent for the Washington bureau of the Los Angeles Times.