Paving the way for the more famous political witch hunts of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his anti-communist brethren in the House of Representatives, the Buchanan Committee also used congressional powers to investigate political dissidents. One difference, however, was that Rep. Frank Buchanan took aim not at alleged members of the Communist Party, but on conservative and libertarian opponents of the New Deal and America’s entry into the Second World War.

David T. Beito is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, Professor Emeritus at the University of Alabama, and author of The New Deal’s War on the Bill of Rights: The Untold Story of FDR’s Concentration Camps, Censorship, and Mass Surveillance.
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Marcus M. Witcher is Assistant Professor of History at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama.
Civil Liberties and Human RightsGovernment and PoliticsGovernment PowerLaw and LibertyPolitical History
Other Independent Review articles by David T. Beito
Spring 2016 The “Lodger Evil” and the Transformation of Progressive Housing Reform, 1890–1930
Fall 2010 Selling Laissez-faire Antiracism to the Black Masses: Rose Wilder Lane and the Pittsburgh Courier
Summer 2008 Punishment and Inequality in America
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