To What Extent Did Film Propaganda during the Second Red Scare Influence Anti-Communist Hysteria?

To What Extent Did Film Propaganda during the Second Red Scare Influence Anti-Communist Hysteria?

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Section A: Plan of Investigation
The focus of this investigation is the ability of leaders to appeal to human emotion through propaganda. Propaganda became especially prevalent in the United States of America during the Second Red Scare between 1947 and 1954. Propaganda assisted in the infiltration of anti-communist ideals. This examination specifically focuses on the extent to which film propaganda during this time period influenced anti-communist hysteria. The movies produced during the Cold War glorified American democracy and an evaluation is completed discussing the impact of this glorification on society. The analysis emphasizes how these beliefs infiltrated all genres of moviemaking, according to researchers of film propaganda and American politics. Several secondary sources are used to look at film propaganda produced during the era of McCarthyism and the anti-communist hysteria existing exclusively in this time period.
Section B: Summary of Evidence
As the United States transitioned out of World War II in 1945 and into a period of tension with the Soviet Union instigated by fear of the spread of Communism, the country’s distress moved to a new enemy. This hysteria became known as the Second Red Scare, lasting from 1947 to 1954 and initiated by Senator Joseph McCarthy. The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was utilized by McCarthy to accuse the media, government, education institutions and political enemies of communist antics (Gordon). In 1947, he claimed to have lists of citizens that should be persecuted for supporting the Communist party. One of the groups attacked by McCarthyites included the actors, writers and directors of Hollywood. The first Hollywood blacklist was released November twenty-fifth, 19...


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...wdus, Gary. The Political Companion to American Film. Chicago, IL: Lake View, 1994. Print.
Doherty, Thomas. “Hollywood Agit-Prop: The Anti-Communist Cycle, 1948-1954.” Journal of Film and Video 40.4 (1988): 15-27. JSTOR. Web. 3 Apr. 2014.
Gordon, Tom. "Second Red Scare: A Cold Era: The Story of US." The Story of US: An Exploration of US History. Northwestern Michigan College, 2010. Web. 09 Apr. 2014.
Hoberman, J. An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War. New York: New, 2011. Print.
Navasky, Victor S. Naming Names. New York: Viking, 1980. Print.
Sbardellati, John. "Brassbound G-Men and Celluloid Reds: The FBI's Search for Communist Propaganda in Wartime Hollywood." Politics and Film 20.4 (2008): 412-36. JSTOR. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.
Schrecker, Ellen. Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America. Boston: Little, Brown, 1998. Print.

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