ForeWord Reviews

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Harry, Tom, and Father Rice

Accusation and Betrayal in America's Cold War

Foreword Review

Cold War Casualties: Congressman Harry Davenport, the author’s uncle, was a one-term Representative from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania whose political career and reputation were ruined during the “Red Scare” 1950s. This compelling tale of betrayal and destroyed lives relates the House Un-American Affairs Committee’s investigation into alleged Communist infiltration of the local electrical workers union, headed by Davenport’s friend, Tom Quinn.

In Harry, Tom, and Father Rice: Accusation and Betrayal in America’s Cold War (University of Pittsburgh Press, 400 pages, hardcover, $29.95, 0-8229-4265-8), John Hoerr, a longtime journalist for UPI and the author of And the Wolf Finally Came: The Decline of the American Steel Industry, skillfully weaves together Davenport’s and Quinn’s stories with that of Father Charles Rice, an ardent anticommunist who pushed hard for the HUAC investigation. Although Quinn was exonerated in the 1955 Quinn v. U.S. decision, Davenport was not as fortunate.

Numerous books have been written about McCarthyism’s impact on the famous and notorious—“The Hollywood Ten,” Klaus Fuchs, Robert Oppenheimer—but this authoritative account, which includes the author’s personal slant, shows McCarthyism’s tragic impact on ordinary people.

Karl Helicher