Here Be Spies: McCarthyism, its Reception and Connections to the Image of the USSR in the US between 1947–1954


  • Jiří Pondělíček Institute of International Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague


The paper deals with the era known as McCarthyism in the context of the early Cold War. It focuses on how the Americans perceived the threat of domestic Communists and how their view was linked to the events abroad. Using poll data from Gallup Polls conducted in and around the years in question, it discusses the cause and effect relation between the public opinion and the hearings. The paper concludes that the negative and sometimes hostile opinion of Americans toward Communism was not caused by McCarthyism, but it rather worked as a catalyst for the politicians who wanted to build their career on the issue of Communist subversion. When the external factors helped ease the domestic tension, the careers of McCarthy and others collapsed.

Keywords: Cold War, United States, McCarthyism, public opinion, communism, anti-communism

DOI: 10.14712/23363231.2015.78