Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy
July 14, 2020
The John Brademas Center of New York University, as part of the Young Leaders Network, co-hosted a virtual panel with NYU Washington, DC Salon Series and discussed Larry Tye's new book Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy.
In the long history of American demagogues, from Huey Long to Donald Trump, never has one man caused so much damage in such a short time as Senator Joseph McCarthy. We still use “McCarthyism” to stand for outrageous charges of guilt by association, a weapon of polarizing slander. Donald Ritchie, Historian Emeritus of the United States Senate, joined the conversation as interlocutor.
This event was free and open to everyone. Registration was required in order to receive log-in information for the webinar. This webinar was recorded.
Larry Tye is a New York Times bestselling author whose next book, a biography of Senator Joe McCarthy, is due out in the spring of 2020 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
His last book was a biography of Robert F. Kennedy, the former attorney general, U.S. senator, and presidential candidate. Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon explores RFK’s extraordinary transformation from cold warrior to fiery leftist.
Tye’s first book, The Father of Spin, is a biography of public relations pioneer Edward L. Bernays. Home Lands looks at the Jewish renewal underway from Boston to Buenos Aires. Rising from the Rails explores how the black men who worked on George Pullman’s railroad sleeping cars helped kick-start the Civil Rights movement and gave birth to today’s African-American middle class. Shock, a collaboration with Kitty Dukakis, is a journalist’s first-person account of ECT, psychiatry’s most controversial treatment, and a portrait of how that therapy helped one woman overcome debilitating depression. Satchel is the biography of two American icons – Satchel Paige and Jim Crow. Superman tells the nearly-real life story of the most enduring American hero of the last century.
In addition to his writing, Tye runs the Boston-based Health Coverage Fellowship, which helps the media do a better job reporting on critical issues like public health, mental health, and high-tech medicine. Launched in 2001 and supported by a series of foundations, the fellowship trains a dozen medical journalists a year from newspapers, radio stations, and TV outlets nationwide.
From 1986 to 2001, Tye was an award-winning reporter at The Boston Globe, where his primary beat was medicine. He also served as the Globe’s environmental reporter, roving national writer, investigative reporter, and sports writer. Before that, he was the environmental reporter at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, and covered government and business at The Anniston Star in Alabama.
Tye, who graduated from Brown University, was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1993-94. He taught journalism at Boston University, Northeastern, and Tufts.
Tye is currently writing, for Houghton Mifflin, a book entitled, The Jazzmen: How Duke Ellington, Satchmo Armstrong, and Count Basie Transformed America.
Donald A. Ritchie is Historian Emeritus of the United States Senate. As associate historian in the Senate Historical Office, beginning in 1976, Ritchie conducted oral history interviews with former senators and retired members of Senate staff as part of the Senate oral history project. In 2009 he became the Senate historian and held that post until his retirement in 2015.
Ritchie was responsible for editing the closed hearing transcripts of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy's investigations, and has authored a number of books including Electing FDR. His book Press Gallery: Congress and the Washington Correspondents won him the Richard W. Leopold Prize of the Organization of American Historians.