Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


This project will examine the meaning of “McCarthyism” and the ways in which writers have portrayed Joseph McCarthy and the era named for him. It will start with the initial effect on the United States, in the 1950s and throughout the Cold War. Contemporary scholarly interpretations will look at what effect the era had on academic freedom, how much of a threat Communism actually was, and how it shaped foreign and domestic policy.

The second section of the paper will delve deeper into the issues on a local level as it uses over 200 editorials and letters to the editor from the two major Rochester, NY newspapers, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and the Rochester Times Union, to gauge the reactions and feelings of Rochesterians on the Red Scare. This section also highlights important local court cases of suspected communist activity in the Rochester area.

Finally, there is a collection of materials for use by American History teachers on McCarthyism. The material on McCarthyism, and the Red Scare of the 1950s is quite extensive, and therefore, quite unreasonable to use in one unit given the time constraints of the curriculum. Consequently, this work is organized so that teachers can pick and choose various lesson ideas, or materials that would best fit their individual needs. Each document, or collection of documents, will be accompanied by some suggestions for how to use them.


Abstract created by repository to aid in discovery.

Capstone project from 2004.