A study of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy :his motives and methods

dc.contributor.advisorPayne, John W
dc.creatorDeaver, Jean Franklin,1932-
dc.date.submittedMay 1959
dc.description.abstractPurpose: It was the purpose of this study to search among McCarthy’s various activities and statements for clues which might combine to reveal more about the man and his motivation. Two major approaches to the study were examined: (1) factual data, matters of record, were studied for the purpose of reporting relevant instances of what McCarthy did and what McCarthy said; and (2) commentary of other writers was studied and compared, consideration being given to the biased approach of the majority. Methods: the methods used to obtain data in this study included the examination of contemporary American history text books, pertinent newspapers and news magazines, and correspondence with senators and ex-senators whose duties brought them in close contact with McCarthy. The writer’s observation of McCarthyism censured provided a limited background of personal knowledge and interest. Findings: The facts presented in this study indicate that McCarthy was a man of great determination. The deduction is inescapable, however, that at least a large portion of his ambition stemmed from a desire for personal publicity. This appears to be adequately revealed in the following general conclusions: 1. McCarthy’s early life revealed an innate determination for recognition, whatever the field of endeavor. This was revealed in his schooling, his early jobs, his military experiences, and his political activities. 2. McCarthy appeared convince of his own superiorities. In many ways he demonstrated an egotism which dominated his actions and at least partially explained his motivation. 3. The privilege of senatorial immunity was used by McCarthy to unwarranted extremes, accruing more to his personal advantage than to the advantage of the American people, for whose benefit the privilege was intended. 4. McCarthy was willing to use the American press for his own personal advantage. His news releases were invariably sensationalized, and timed to gain maximum attention. 5. Truth served McCarthy only as a matter of expediency. When it better served his purpose, he was capable of concealing the truth in a mass of misleading statements. 6. McCarthy was guilty of a direct attack upon the constitutional separation of powers. He deliberately and defiantly initiated actions known by him to be the prerogatives of the executive department. 7. McCarthy was personally guilty of subversion. He openly advised government employees to disregard federal security regulations and the orders of their superiors in order to make available information that would strengthen McCarthyism. 8. McCarthy was in many instances guilty of unethical procedures, particularly when his actions could serve the purpose of promoting his own publicity.
dc.subjectJoseph R. McCarthy
dc.titleA study of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy :his motives and methods
thesis.degree.grantorSam Houston State Teachers College
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Art


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