A Time of Fear: America in the Era of Red Scares and Cold War

Knopf. Mar. 2021. 320p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780525644293.
Gr 9 Up–Marrin uses straightforward text to detail the rise of communism in the Soviet Union and the effects of the communist movement on the United States. The text is dense at times, but Marrin ably presents the many facets of communism experienced under Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, and Joseph Stalin. The influence and impact of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) are explained well too, as is the U.S. government’s response to the party, its members, and suspected communists. Photographs, propaganda posters, and images of letters and government reports are interspersed throughout and support the text. These images are captioned and dated, but no credits are listed in context or in the back matter. Though Marrin editorializes at times, he presents a critical look at Soviet leadership, the CPUSA, and the U.S. government’s leaders and policies. A prologue, epilogue, endnotes, and a bibliography further inform readers about Marrin’s views and his research process. The bibliography is organized into sections and lists primarily adult resources from university presses and trade publishers. Each internet resource is annotated by Marrin.
VERDICT Those looking for in-depth coverage of the influence of and reaction to communism in the United States will want this for their collections.

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