100 books like The Age of Suspicion

By James A. Wechsler,

Here are 100 books that The Age of Suspicion fans have personally recommended if you like The Age of Suspicion. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of McCarthyism: The Fight for America

Larry Tye Author Of Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy

From my list on red scares in the USA.

Who am I?

Larry Tye is a New York Times bestselling author whose most recent book is Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy. Before that, he was an award-winning reporter at The Boston Globe, where his primary beat was medicine. He also served as the Globe’s environmental reporter, roving national writer, investigative reporter, and sports writer. Tye, who graduated from Brown University, was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1993-94. He taught journalism at Boston University, Northeastern, and Tufts.

Larry's book list on red scares in the USA

Larry Tye Why did Larry love this book?

The fairest way to begin to explore the conspiracy McCarthy and his backers feared is to hear it from the Cassandra himself. Joe lays out his case in this thin volume.

By Joe McCarthy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked McCarthyism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Straight from the middle of the Cold-War era, then-Senator Joe McCarthy outlines his mission to reclaim America from the threat of communism, offering what he calls "documented answers to questions asked by friend and foe." A chilling set of documents then...and now. This is the original publication from 1952, NOT a modern reprint, in paper wrappers with McCarthy's photo on front cover,101 pages + Index in rear. Condition is downgraded to only Good due to external edgewear, light rubbing & some corner creasing. . Protected in mylar collector bag Free! Please see our photos--they show the Exact book you will…


Book cover of Joe McCarthy And The Press

Larry Tye Author Of Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy

From my list on red scares in the USA.

Who am I?

Larry Tye is a New York Times bestselling author whose most recent book is Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy. Before that, he was an award-winning reporter at The Boston Globe, where his primary beat was medicine. He also served as the Globe’s environmental reporter, roving national writer, investigative reporter, and sports writer. Tye, who graduated from Brown University, was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1993-94. He taught journalism at Boston University, Northeastern, and Tufts.

Larry's book list on red scares in the USA

Larry Tye Why did Larry love this book?

Bayley, a political reporter for the Milwaukee Journal during McCarthy’s rise and reign, offers riveting details about how the press enabled the Red Scare in a book that is at the same time dispassionate and telling for today.

By Edwin R. Bayley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Joe McCarthy And The Press as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a book for historians, journalists - and for all of us who need to remember this turbulent time in our nation's past, and its lessons for today. ""No one who cares about liberty will read Mr. Bayley's masterful study without a shudder about the journalistic cop-outs that contributed to making the nightmare called McCarthyism. This book reminds us that it could happen here, but perhaps will make it harder to happen next time."" - Daniel Schorr


Book cover of Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America

Neal Thompson Author Of Reckoning: Vietnam and America's Cold War Experience, 1945-1991

From my list on America’s path through the Cold War.

Who am I?

I entered the United States Army in August 1970, two months after graduation from high school, completed flight school on November 1971, and served a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot in Troop F (Air), 8th US Cavalry, 1st Aviation Brigade. After my discharge, I served an additional 28 years as a helicopter pilot in the Illinois National Guard, retiring in 2003. I graduated from Triton Junior College, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Northwestern University Law School in 1981. My passion for this subject arises, as one would expect, from my status as a veteran. My expertise is based on my own experience and 16 years of research and writing that went into the preparation of my book.

Neal's book list on America’s path through the Cold War

Neal Thompson Why did Neal love this book?

Starting in World War II, American cryptanalysts broke Soviet codes and determined that hundreds of Americans working for the Soviet Union were active within the federal government during the New Deal and throughout the Second World War. Code named Venona, this operation was a closely guarded secret until declassification in 1996. When these intercepts were combined with information acquired from Soviet archives after the collapse of the USSR, they revealed not only a massive penetration of American government, science, and industry by Soviet spies but an American Communist Party that had assisted in these efforts, serving as an arm of Soviet intelligence. In other words (quoting American Communist Party member Alfred Bernstein), “[Joseph] McCarthy was right.” “The system was loaded with Communists.”

By John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Venona as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Only in 1995 did the United States government officially reveal the existence of the super-secret Venona Project. For nearly fifty years American intelligence agents had been decoding thousands of Soviet messages, uncovering an enormous range of espionage activities carried out against the United States during World War II by its own allies. So sensitive was the project in its early years that even President Truman was not informed of its existence. This extraordinary book is the first to examine the Venona messages-documents of unparalleled importance for our understanding of the history and politics of the Stalin era and the early…


Book cover of The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government

Jim Elledge Author Of An Angel in Sodom: Henry Gerber and the Birth of the Gay Rights Movement

From my list on gay history before Stonewall.

Who am I?

In post-Roe America, gay people face the very real possibility of our rights being stripped from us, underscoring the importance of this adage: “Those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it.” That's why years ago, when I realize that many gay men were ignorant about gay history before Stonewall, I began editing anthologies of gay writings from the past. That led me to writing biographies and histories in which I explore gay men’s experiences, hoping my work shines a light on our forgotten past.

Jim's book list on gay history before Stonewall

Jim Elledge Why did Jim love this book?

One of the darkest events in gay history has been brought to light in Johnson’s book. During the late 1940s and ’50s, the Federal Government engaged in a purge of gay men (and women) who worked in its offices by linking them to communism, an association politicians strengthened as the Cold War progressed. Fueled by their lies and guided by FBI Director (and closeted gay) J. Edgar Hoover, the persecution, called the “Lavender Scare,” spread from Washington, D.C. across the U.S. The government-sanctioned homophobia cost thousands their jobs, families, and friends when their sexuality was made public. Some committed suicide. Having this book at hand helped me understand the complexities of gay men’s lives during this horrific period.

By David K. Johnson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Lavender Scare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Cold War America, Senator Joseph McCarthy enjoyed tremendous support in the fight against what he called atheistic communism. But that support stemmed less from his wild charges about communists than his more substantiated charges that "sex perverts" had infiltrated government agencies. Although now remembered as an attack on suspected disloyalty, McCarthyism introduced "moral values" into the American political arsenal. Warning of a spreading homosexual menace, McCarthy and his Republican allies learned how to win votes. Winner of three book awards, "The Lavender Scare" masterfully traces the origins of contemporary sexual politics to Cold War hysteria over national security. Drawing…


Book cover of The Big Nowhere

Steven Powell Author Of Love Me Fierce In Danger: The Life of James Ellroy

From my list on the king of LA noir James Ellroy.

Who am I?

I have been fascinated by James Ellroy’s life and writing since I first discovered it as a lonely teenager on a rainswept family holiday. He went through dark times; the unsolved murder of his mother and his subsequent struggles with addiction. But how he overcame this to become one of America’s greatest writers is an inspiring story and has inspired me to get through my own personal turmoil. Indeed, many Ellroy readers will attest to how his life story and writing helped them overcome their struggles. Now as Ellroy’s biographer, I am continually drawn back to his work. Reading just a few pages allows me to contemplate what Ellroy calls ‘the Wonder’.

Steven's book list on the king of LA noir James Ellroy

Steven Powell Why did Steven love this book?

This is a personal favourite as it’s the Ellroy novel that carries the biggest emotional punch. Although it didn’t match the sales of its predecessor The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere is a more accomplished novel. The setting is LA, 1950. A murder plot is interweaved with the politics of the Red Scare, and a Hollywood milieu at the height of the film noir age. This is the novel that proved Ellroy was a literary writer, and not just a genre one.

By James Ellroy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Big Nowhere as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The D. A.'s brass, a sheriff's deputy, and a rough-and-tumble bagman are unknowingly chasing a nightmare in this thrilling novel from the author of "some of the most powerful crime novels ever written" (New York Times).
Los Angeles, 1950 Red crosscurrents: the Commie Scare and a string of brutal mutilation killings. Gangland intrigue and Hollywood sleaze. Three cops caught in a hellish web of ambition, perversion, and deceit. Danny Upshaw is a Sheriff's deputy stuck with a bunch of snuffs nobody cares about; they're his chance to make his name as a cop...and to sate his darkest curiosities. Mal Considine…


Book cover of Little Comrades

Amanda West Lewis Author Of These Are Not the Words

From my list on prose-poetry about childhood in a messy world.

Who am I?

I’m a writer, theatre artist and calligrapher who has spent a lifetime dedicated to the look, sound, texture and meaning of words. Writing in verse and prose poetry gives me a powerful tool to explore hard themes. Poetry is economical. It makes difficult subjects personal. Through poetry, I can explore painful choices intimately and emerge on a different path at a new phase of the journey. While my semi-autobiographical novel These Are Not the Words “is about” mental health and drug addiction, I’ve shown this through layers of images, sounds, textures, tastes—through shards of memories long submerged, recovered through writing, then structured and fictionalized through poetry.

Amanda's book list on prose-poetry about childhood in a messy world

Amanda West Lewis Why did Amanda love this book?

Little Comrades is a memoir written in prose poetry. It is about growing up in a dedicated Communist home in the 1930’s in Canada. It is a home where The Party is more important than the family. Young Laurie and her brother Andy try to understand the world that they are growing up in while their abusive, alcoholic father uses his commitment to the cause to justify brutality and abandonment. In the end, it is a story of triumph but the journey to that “happy” ending is colored by the reaction of The Party, and eventually, the horrors of McCarthyism. Full disclosure—Laurie Lewis is my mother. It was not until she was 80 that she was able to tell the tale, just showing that a story cannot be told until it is ready.

By Laurie Lewis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Little Comrades as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Little Comrades tells the story of a girl growing up in a dysfunctional left-wing family in the Canadian West during the Depression, then moving, alone with her mother, to New York City during America's fervently anti-Communist postwar years. With wit and honesty, Laurie Lewis describes an unusual childhood and an adventurous adolescence.


Book cover of The Red and the Blacklist: The Intimate Memoir of a Hollywood Expatriate

Frank Krutnik Author Of 'Un-American' Hollywood: Politics and Film in the Blacklist Era

From my list on the Hollywood blacklist.

Who am I?

As a film studies scholar from a working-class background (which is pretty rare in UK academia!), I’ve long been fascinated by the Hollywood Left and the prospect of what they could have achieved had they not been expunged from the scene. Many of the social justice causes they embraced—anti-fascism, anti-racism, workers’ rights, etc.resonate very strongly with contemporary concerns. The persecution of these creative workers also serves as an ever-timely warning from history about the importance of maintaining vigilance in the face of totalitarian thinking and systems of oppression. 

Frank's book list on the Hollywood blacklist

Frank Krutnik Why did Frank love this book?

Many victims of the blacklist have written memoirs of their experiences, including Lester Cole, Ring Lardner, Jr., Bernard Gordon, and Walter Bernstein. But we are also fortunate to have excellent books from two articulate and talented women writers—Norma Barzman and Jean Rouverol (Refugees from Hollywood: A Journal of the Blacklist Years, 2000)—who offer emotionally nuanced accounts of the personal and professional consequences of political persecution and exile. As wives and mothers, their reminiscences inevitably have a very different centre of gravity than those of male blacklistees. Barzman is unrepentant about the progressive causes embraced by the American Communist Party while also critiquing the misogyny of many male comrades. This is a witty and insightful book by an engaging, clear-sighted, and forward-thinking survivor.

By Norma Barzman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Red and the Blacklist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Norma Barzman's extraordinary memoir, The Red and the Blacklist, fizzes with the wit and energy of the classic Hollywood comedies of the forties. But it is also laced with the fear and claustrophobia found in the forties film noirs, as Norma and her husband Ben Barzman are driven from Hollywoodduring the postwar McCarthyite witch huntinto an emotionally difficult 30-year exile in France. While their hair-raising and amusing adventures continue, Ben battles depression as he attempts to rehabilitate his career, while frustrating Norma's own aspirations as a writer. She seeks solace in a string of affairs, one of them ending in…


Book cover of Annie's Song

Jane B. Night Author Of Wedding the Widow

From my list on featuring a disabled character as a love interest.

Who am I?

I think it is so important for everyone to be able to see others get their happily ever after. Illness and disability doesn't mean a person can't or shouldn't find love. Everyone should be able to find love. I love seeing characters find their happily ever after even if they aren't physically perfect. 

Jane's book list on featuring a disabled character as a love interest

Jane B. Night Why did Jane love this book?

This was the first romance I ever read that featured a deaf character. I loved how much research the author did on the subject and how much I learned. This book broke my heart as Annie was again and again mistreated and underestimated until Alex realized that the problem was her ears, not her mind. 

I really loved Alex's character. He marries Annie because she was raped by his brother and becomes pregnant. I loved his sense of duty and honor. I loved his attempts at trying to do right by Annie even when they were misinformed. 

My favorite takeaway from this book was that no one should decide for another person what they need and the able community needs to not make assumptions but to listen to what those with disabilities say about their needs.

By Catherine Anderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Annie's Song as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Only her gift of love can heal ...Annie Trimble lives in a solitary world that no one enters or understands. As delicate and beautiful as the tender blossoms of the Oregon spring, she is shunned by a town that doesn't understand her. But cruelty cannot destroy the love Annie holds in her heart. When Alex Montgomery learns of the injustice sweet Annie has suffered, he vows to do whatever it takes to set it right-even if it means marrying her. He never dreams he will fall for her childlike innocence, her womanly charms, and the wondrous way she views her…


Book cover of Guy Burgess: A Portrait With Background

Andrew Lownie Author Of Stalin's Englishman: Guy Burgess, the Cold War, and the Cambridge Spy Ring

From my list on Guy Burgess (Cambridge Spy Ring).

Who am I?

Andrew Lownie is a former journalist for The London Times, the British representative for the Washington-based National Intelligence Centre, and he helped set up the Spy Museum in Washington. His books include biographies of the writer John Buchan, the spy Guy Burgess (which won the St Ermin’s Hotel Intelligence Book Prize), Dickie & Edwina Mountbatten (a top ten Sunday Times bestseller) and a forthcoming book on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Andrew's book list on Guy Burgess (Cambridge Spy Ring)

Andrew Lownie Why did Andrew love this book?

The journalist  and Labour politician Tom Driberg had known Guy Burgess in London. After Burgess appeared publicly at a press conference in February 1956 five years after his flight to Russia, Driberg approached him asking to write his authorised life and Burgess agreed. In the absence of a memoir, this biography, based on a series of interviews, is our nearest insight into the spy’s mind set tracing his alienation from the Establishment from his school days at Eton, his politicisation at Cambridge University, concerns about McCarthyism whilst in Washington to the escape to Russia.

By Tom Driberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Guy Burgess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Beverly Malibu

Iza Moreau Author Of The News in Small Towns

From my list on mysteries featuring lesbian detectives.

Who am I?

Halfway through my first novel, I realized that I was writing in a genre that had received little critical study and had almost no visibility. To find my way around the genre—and my place within it—I began reading heavily and before I knew it, I had read well over 200 lesbian mystery novels and devoured almost every serious review and critical study The dozen books I have written over the last decade reflect this study. In them, I hope I have succeeded in expanding the genre in some small way and adding to the menu of a hungry and discerning LGBTQ audience. 

Iza's book list on mysteries featuring lesbian detectives

Iza Moreau Why did Iza love this book?

Forrest’s Kate Delafield, a San Francisco homicide detective, is surely the most famous character in lesbian mystery fiction. She is also the first lesbian police officer. Although most of Forrest’s 10 Delafield novels deserve 5-star ratings, The Beverly Malibu goes far beyond the usual whodunit limits in that it revisits the terrible McCarthy era when minorities—including the LGBTQ community—were kicked down at by the elite. This is also the book where Kate meets her long-time lover Aimee. 

By Katherine V. Forrest,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Beverly Malibu as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On Thanksgiving Day, LAPD homicide detective Kate Delafield and her partner, Ed Taylor, are called to an apartment building on the edge of Beverly Hills to investigate a premeditated and pitiless murder.

No one appears particularly grieved by the shocking end to old-time Hollywood director Owen Sinclair. Surely not three other tenants of the Beverly Malibu, who worked in the motion picture industry during the blacklist years and loathed Sinclair for having been a "friendly witness" before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Nor is Sinclair's latest ex-wife grieved or even his children. Nor film actress and former paramour Maxine Marlowe.…


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