Penn State

Gary J. Weisel - Associate Professor of Physics, Penn State Altoona

Book Title: American Science in an Age of Anxiety: Scientists, Anti-Communism, and the Cold War

Author: Jessica Wang

Book Description:

This book, by the terrifically talented young historian Jessica Wang, is a seminal contribution to the history of the American scientific community during the Cold War. The book demonstrates not only the highest standards of academic scholarship but also the passion of a committed researcher. Ms. Wang's analysis shows that the Truman administration, the House Committee on Un-American Activity and the FBI were over zealous in exposing innocent American scientists to harassment and surveillance. Her evidence also shows that these actions grew not out of a careful and realistic evaluation of threats but out of a number of ideological and domestic worries that were exaggerated in the paranoid atmosphere of the early Cold War. The book is pertinent today in warning us of the difficulty of maintaining national security and at the same time keeping our American identity as an open and free society.


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