Senator Joseph McCarthy and McCarthyism: What Are the Facts?
Was Senator Joseph McCarthy a vicious smear artist who did nothing but make fabricated charges against innocent people? Was he a fanatical anti-communist demagogue who never found a single genuine communist in the government? No, he was not. Senator McCarthy was not the raving fear monger that so many historians have portrayed him as being. I do not argue that all of McCarthy's claims were correct. Some of them were wrong. Nor do I argue that all of his methods were without fault. Sometimes he and his staff used unethical means to achieve what they believed were noble goals (on the other hand, many of McCarthy's enemies used unethical methods in their efforts to destroy him). However, the portrayal of McCarthy as a reckless fanatic who made utterly baseless accusations is simply false. McCarthy was right about a number of things. Some of his methods left much to be desired, but history has proven he was correct most of the time. Many of the charges that are commonly leveled against McCarthy have no basis in fact, yet they're accepted and repeated over and over again in movies and documentaries, in history textbooks, and in popular books authored by historians who should know better. It is a sad commentary on the state of American historical scholarship that relatively few people are aware of these facts.
Defenses of Senator McCarthy
Attacks on Senator McCarthy
Senator McCarthy’s Writings and Speeches