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The Source: The Legacy Of The 'Red Scare' In Texas


When "Red Scare: Right-Wing Hysteria, Fifties Fanaticism, and Their Legacy in Texas" was first published in 1985 it won the Texas State Historical Society's prize for best book on Texas History.

Now nearly 30 years later, it has been republished by the University of Texas Press and is still resounds with the ideas of political messaging, group think and the darker parts of our common history.

Communism was terrifying the country. Communist and left-leaning workers' groups had pushed for incredible changes in the 1930s. Right here in San Antonio the largest agricultural strike in the country at that time took place with the pecan workers strike. It's spokesperson, Emma Tenayuca, had been an admitted member of the communist party.

Author Don Carleton, executive director of the Dolph Briscoe Center at the University of Texas at Austin, walks us through the time period amassing anecdotes and details that bring us into the frenzy. He makes the case that anti-communist efforts became incredibly powerful.

The well meaning fighters of communism saw their struggle and message became a hammer with which to pummel their liberal enemies. 


  • Don Carleton, author of "Red Scare: Right-Wing Hysteria, Fifties Fanaticism, and Their Legacy in Texas" 

*This is the first segment in the March 27 edition of The Source, which airs at 3 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM -- audio from this show will be posted by 5:30 p.m.

Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive