Fred C. Schwarz (1913–2009) was an Australian-born medical doctor and evangelical preacher who settled in the United States in the early 1950s, where he founded the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade. His work as an anticommunist educator spanned five decades; his campaigns attracted large crowds, strengthened grassroots conservatism, and influenced political leaders. By the late 1950s, the Crusade had become one of the most important conservative organizations in America, turning numerous citizens into lifelong right-wing militants.
In Teaching Anticommunism Hubert Villeneuve sheds light on Schwarz's fascinating career and organization, which left a distinct mark on the United States and was also active internationally. Cold War anticommunism in the US consisted of more than the House Un-American Activities Committee and the campaign led by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Villeneuve shows that, by the early 1960s, Schwarz's Crusade was an integral part of a burgeoning American anticommunist subculture that united grassroots conservatives of all stripes. Its influence continued, paving the way for the development of the "New Right" that began in the 1970s. In addition to exploring the life and work of Schwarz, the book highlights the transnational dimension of US conservatism by outlining the Crusade's role in worldwide anticommunist networks that operated throughout the Cold War.
Packed with unnerving evidence but leavened with humorous anecdotes and insights into a mercurial figure, Teaching Anticommunism provides a unique perspective on the evolution of the contemporary American right wing and its global connections.
Hubert Villeneuve is a historian and lawyer. He lives in Quebec City.
"Through his analysis of Schwarz's life and career, Villeneuve makes a distinctive and valuable argument about the development of modern American conservatism and offers a needed perspective on the broader subject of the Right in the United States after the Second World War." Robert Mason, University of Edinburgh