Please help me ID this book about the '50s Red Scare

In an alternative bookstore (during its going-out-of business sale) some time in the late '80s, I happened across a quasi-humorous book (which at the moment I lacked the funds to buy even at firesale prices) about the pervasiveness of “Red Scare” elements in American media and popular culture during the 1950s. It was a large trade paperback with lots of fascimiles of contemporary advertisements, newpaper articles, novel covers, etc., and showed how suspicion of Communists popped up in such unlikely places as Mickey Spillane’s detective novels. The title might have been something like “Red Scare” or “Seeing Red,” but I can’t find the book on Amazon using those search terms. Does anyone know it?

Unlikely? Anti-communist hysteria was pretty much Spillane’s whole schtick. [Sex and sadism was what the Commies did. Hammer merely fought fire with fire with his own sex and sadism. None of this “America is better than that” nonsense for him. He would fit in perfectly today.] He was riding the wave of pro-Americanism, anti-Communism that started in the the late 1940s. And he had plenty of company even among mystery writers, or at least the hard-boiled paperback ones.

Really, the red scare pervaded every type of media, every type of entertainment, and every type of serious discussion forum. The only thing “unlikely” was the places you didn’t find anti-Communist scare stories.

Are you certain it was the late '80s? Better Dead Than Red, by Michael Barson, was published in 1992. (Curiously, for some reason I recall its title as being “Better Red Than Dead,” which really doesn’t make sense given the subject matter, but there you go.)

That’s the one! Marx bless you! :slight_smile: