FOR ALMOST fifty years, the words "McCarthy" and "McCarthyism" have stood for a shameful period in American political history. During this period, thousands of people lost their jobs and hundreds were sent to prison. The U.S. government executed Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, two Communist Party (CP) members, as Russian spies. All of these people were victims of McCarthyism, the witch-hunt during the 1940s and 1950s against Communists and other leftists, trade unionists and civil rights activists, intellectuals and artists. Named for the witch-hunt's most zealous prosecutor, Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.), McCarthyism was the most widespread and longest lasting wave of political repression in American history. In order to eliminate the alleged threat of domestic Communism, a broad coalition of politicians, bureaucrats, and other anticommunist activists hounded an entire generation of radicals and their asso...