Domestic Insecurity: Gender and Cold War Loyalty Investigations of US Policymakers


ACLS Fellowship Program




This study of loyalty investigations of US policymakers from the late 1930s to the 1960s offers new evidence that the Second Red Scare served objectives far broader than the eradication of the Communist Party. Anticommunists associated communism with men’s loss of control over women, and the feminization of the civil service gave them another reason to dislike the bureaucratic state. Newly declassified sources reveal that investigations of male and female bureaucrats redirected policy debates. Integrating literatures on McCarthyism, state development, and women, the study suggests that the search for communists in government left a gendered legacy that constrained US social policy and modern feminism.