We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
- Jessica McBirney
This easy-to-read article explains the economic system of capitalism along with some of its potential upsides and drawbacks, as well as alternative economic systems.Pair “Capitalism” with “McCarthyism” to give students additional information on the different economic systems utilized by countries around the world. How does capitalism compare to communism? Why is it important to the United States that they maintain their capitalistic system?
Witchcraft in Salem
The informational text “Witchcraft in Salem” recounts how mass hysteria gripped the town of Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692-1693, a period now known as the Salem Witch Trials.Pair “McCarthyism” with “Witchcraft in Salem” and ask students to compare the events of the Red Scare to the Salem Witch Trials. Ask them to discuss similar concepts of “witch hunts” and scapegoats. How can we compare the threat of witchcraft to the threat of communism? Are we just as prone today to this type of hysteria as they were in the McCarthy era and in colonial America?
The Salem (and Other) Witch Hunts
- Mike Kubic
In “The Salem (and Other) Witch Hunts,” Mike Kubic explores the Salem witch trials, and the various other prejudiced hunts that have occurred throughout history.Pair “McCarthyism” with “The Salem (and Other) Witch Hunts” to provide students with additional information regarding the conflicts of the Cold War. What can the results of this particular witch hunt teach students about prejudice? How can we prevent prejudiced hunts from occurring in the future?
What Fear Can Teach Us
- Karen Thompson Walker
In “What Fear Can Teach Us,” Karen Thompson Walker discusses the effects that fear has on decision-making and invokes a true story about the sailors of the Essex to illustrate her argument.Pair “McCarthyism” with “What Fear Can Teach Us” and ask students to discuss how fear controls people’s actions in both texts. What was the United States’ fear during this time? To what extent was the “story” a fear that was productive for the United States? How did this prompt people to act in extreme ways? What do you think Walker would say regarding the actions that resulted from McCarthyism?
Recalling Castro's Ascension — And CIA Reaction
- Tom Gjelten
In the informational text “Recalling Castro’s Ascension — And CIA Reaction,” Tom Gjelten explores Fidel Castro’s rise to power in Cuba and the responses of CIA officials at the time.Pair “McCarthyism” with “Recalling Castro’s Ascension — And CIA Reaction” to provide students with additional information regarding the United States’ fear of communist countries. How did Castro’s involvement in communism impact his standing with the United States?
'Enemies from Within' Speech
- Senator Joseph McCarthy
In Senator Joseph McCarthy’s “‘Enemies from Within’ Speech,” he condemns the threat of communism and accuses the State Department of communist infiltration.Pair “McCarthyism” with “‘Enemies from Within’ Speech” so that students may have a better understanding of what is known as the Red Scare, or the era of McCarthyism. What was the general atmosphere or attitude in America regarding communism? What elements of McCarthyism are exemplified in his speech?
Queens of the Spy World Whose Intrigues Sway the Fate of Nations
- The Sun
This article discusses the legendary women of the spy world and their contributions to the countries they served in the early 20th century.Pair “McCarthyism” with “Queens of the Spy World Whose Intrigues Sway the Fate of Nations” and ask students to discuss American history regarding espionage, especially during the Cold War. How was espionage used in the United States? How does the U.S. view espionage compared to the rest of the world?
The Cold War
- Jessica McBirney
In the informational text “The Cold War,” Jessica McBirney discusses the conflicts of the Cold War, specifically what it was, who was involved, and why it occurred.Pair “McCarthyism” with “The Cold War” and ask students to discuss how Americans were treated during the Cold War. In what ways were their constitutional rights compromised? How was Joseph McCarthy able to manipulate the fears of Americans during this time? Could something similar happen today? Why or why not?
Russia Tightens the Iron Curtain on Ideas
- Harrison Salisbury
In The New York Times article “Russia Tightens the Iron Curtain on Ideas,” published in December 1948, Harrison Salisbury discusses the Soviet Union’s censorship during the Cold War.Pair “McCarthyism” with “Russia Tightens the Iron Curtain on Ideas” to provide students with additional information on the relationship between the U.S and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Ask students to discuss how the Soviet Union’s attempts to influence its citizens compares to those past attempts that the U.S Senator, Joseph McCarthy, and other members of the U.S. government made to influence public opinion towards Soviet-influenced communism. How did the intentions of McCarthyism in the US compare to the goals of the “thought purge” in the Soviet Union?
The Truman Doctrine Speech
- President Harry S. Truman
In “The Truman Doctrine Speech,” President Truman asks Congress for resources to aid Greece and Turkey, allowing them to maintain their freedom during the Cold War.Pair “The Truman Doctrine Speech” with “McCarthyism” and ask students to identify unfair treatment of American citizens in “McCarthyism.” How did the fear of communism compare to the damage done by communism itself? How is this fear communicated in “The Truman Doctrine Speech”?