RHODcast: Aug 13, 2020

Demagogue – Larry Tye

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If one should assess Senator Joseph McCarthy’s success by the number of ardent Communists revealed by his investigations in the late 1940s and early 1950s to be operating in the United States government, the only possible conclusion is that he was a pathetic failure. The harm he did to individuals, and the lives his actions forced to a premature end, are yet shamefully legion.

A hundred books later, along comes Larry Tye’s biography of McCarthy, Demagogue. Tye’s reading of McCarthy’s private papers sheds new light on a man who attacked his opponents ruthlessly and when challenged over a lie, lied some more, and kept far more senior and able colleagues in a state of permanent fear. Tye writes “his rise and reign… go a long way to explain the astonishing ascension of President Donald J. Trump.” As we hear in this newest RHODcast, the parallels are horribly familiar.

“Demagogue” is published in the UK on August 16, 2020.

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