Despite its setting in World War II

Despite its setting in World War II -...

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Despite its setting in World War II, it is important to remember that  Catch-22  was  written  in the  1950s. This was a decade of considerable repression in America, exemplified by a U.S. senator from  Wisconsin named Joseph Raymond McCarthy. The loyalty oaths and political paranoia in the novel  reflect McCarthyism. In February 1950, McCarthy accused the Department of State of employing  205 "known" Communists (later reducing the number to fifty-seven). Although the accusations were  never proven, McCarthy became a national figure and the most infamous leader of a witch-hunt  rivaling that of Salem in 1692. In the early 1950s, as head of the Senate subcommittee on  investigations, McCarthy expanded his search for Communist influence, which contributed to what  William Manchester (author of  The Glory and the Dream ) titled "the age of suspicion." Blacklists,  which banned the accused from employment, appeared across the country. State legislatures  demanded that college professors, for example, sign loyalty oaths pledging their allegiance to the  United States and disavowing any association with Communism. UCLA fired 157 professors who 
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Despite its setting in World War II -...

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