Ybarra, Michael J.
Ybarra, Michael J.
ADDRESSES: Home—San Francisco, CA. Agent—Steerforth Books, 25 Lebanon St., Hanover, NH 03755.
CAREER: Former staff reporter for Wall Street Journal; freelance writer.
Washington Gone Crazy: Senator Pat McCarran and the Great American Communist Hunt, Steerforth Press (Hanover, NH), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Former Wall Street Journal reporter Michael J. Ybarra is the author of Washington Gone Crazy: Senator Pat McCarran and the Great American Communist Hunt. A biography of Senator McCarran, it reminds the reader that Senator Joseph McCarthy, though highly visible and vocal during the anti-Communist campaigns of the 1950s, was not the only power behind the now-notorious "Red Scare" era. In fact, McCarran was the actual motivator behind the government's activities during that period. In a review for the New York Times, David Greenberg remarked that, "as important as the recent archival disclosures about Communist espionage may be, Ybarra's painstakingly drawn study of this dyspeptic, power-hungry titan … shows that it was gratuitous persecutions at home, waged in the name of the hunt for those spies, that sowed panic, ruined lives and stained America indelibly." Booklist reviewer Bryce Christensen pointed out that, "though far from sympathetic with McCarran's objectives, Ybarra marvels at his skill in dominating Congress." A contributor to Publishers Weekly wrote that, "by favoring careful documentation over demonization, Ybarra's hefty account offers a welcome new perspective on the origins of the Cold War."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 2004, Bryce Christensen, review of Washington Gone Crazy: Senator Pat McCarran and the Great American Communist Hunt, p. 31.
Library Journal, September 1, 2004, Ed Goedeken, review of Washington Gone Crazy, p. 170.
New York Times, October 31, 2004, David Greenberg, "Nativist Son," review of Washington Gone Crazy.
Publishers Weekly, August 23, 2004, review of Washington Gone Crazy, p. 47.
History News Network, http://hnn.us/ (June 22, 2005), "Michael J. Ybarra."