Dying for Joe McCarthy’s Sins
The Suicide of Wyoming Senator Lester Hunt
Chat with Rodger McDaniel about his new book. Hosted by Peterr.
“Joe McCarthy’s Cold War witch-hunts targeted people with same-sex attractions as much, maybe more than those with Communist sympathies.”
This introduction to Rodger McDaniel’s book sets the stage for a story of the most wretched political blackmail in American history. Lester Hunt was the kind of person we’d all want to be a part of our national government. Kind and empathetic, honest and hardworking, he was as one of his eulogists said, “ill prepared for the cruel, brutal, rough aspect of national partisan politics.” Hunt committed suicide in his Senate office in 1954. His death was tragic enough. Yet readers will find even more about which to lament reading of his extraordinary life. Dying for Joe McCarthy’s Sins is not only Lester Hunt’s story. It’s the story of America during the virulent years of the early Cold War, of McCarthyism, and the way the voluntary death of a Wyoming senator helped to bring the curtain down on Joe McCarthy.
Rodger McDaniel is a former Wyoming legislator (1971-81). He holds a law degree from the University of Wyoming and a Master of Divinity degree from the Ilif School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. He practiced law for nearly twenty years before going to seminary and becoming an ordained minister. (website – LesterHuntBiography) (Interview)
[Senator Lester Hunt killed himself in his Senate Office, after Sen. Joe McCarthy went after him because of Hunt's gay son, during the House Un-American Activities Hearings (Wiki); A Death Untold: The Suicide of Wyoming Sen. Lester Hunt - bev]