December 12, 2009

Chapter 13: The Plunge

Recent former Secretary of Defense James Forrestal is found dead on the grounds of Bethesda Naval Hospital. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin is convinced that Forrestal was “hounded” to death by communists, and McCarthyism begins. He alleges extensive communist penetration of the State Department, and William Pawley blames State for the loss of China to the communists. Pawley is asked by Cuban President Carlos Prío Socarrás to come to Cuba to run the Havana bus company with the same efficiency that Pawley was running his bus company in Miami. Pawley later wrote, “Collective bargaining, as I learned the hard way, was often conducted by pistol-packing labor leaders, mostly Communists, backed by menacing squads of goons. Open assassinations on the streets were commonplace.”