As Peter Dale Scott states in his excellent book 'Deep Politics', McCarthyism was one of the main scandals in the US in the twentieth century.
Therefore, this volume composed by Prof. Fried, with the most important documents about this phenomenon (laws, interrogations, judgments ...) is a most useful reminder of what really happened. Also, his analysis of the facts is objective and to the point.
Prof. Fried defines the red scare as 'a mass phenomenon that may have comprised a majority of the electorate, with one abiding passion, that Communism was the sum of human iniquity and that to destroy it all means were justified'. (p. 118)
Some of the villains (R. Reagan, R. Nixon, A. Schlesinger Jr., E. Kazan, L.J. Cobb) in this shameful episode of US politics, made brilliant careers afterwards.
The justification by those who accused colleagues and friends could be right (e. g. Kazan: The Communists automatically violated the daily practices of democracy), but it was a most inhuman behaviour.
As Lillian Hellman wrote: 'But to hurt innocent people whom I knew many years ago in order to save myself is, to me, inhuman and indecent and dishonorable. I cannot and will not cut my conscience'. (p.138)
The overwhelming majority of the accused dropped for good out of their profession. Only a few, like directors Jules Dassin and Joseph Losey, found work in Europe.
I must recommend the above mentioned book by Peter Dale Scott, who gives a brilliant analysis of MacCarthyism: who really pulled the strings behind the veil and why it was abruptly stopped.
A most necessary reminder of an unnecessary and unjustified witch-hunt.