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GBJ exclusive: Peter Hodes to discuss his life in 1950s China after father fired during McCarthyism

Updated: Nov 11, 2019

Senator Joe McCarthy reveled in the controversy created by his "Red Scare" witch hunt.

In 1953, at the height of anti-Communist "McCarthyism" in the United States, Dr. Robert Hodes was fired as a professor at prestigious Tulane University in New Orleans. After his dismissal, he moved to China for more than five years with his wife and three children. On Tuesday, November 5, his son Peter, who is working on a book about growing up in China, will visit the Tsinghua campus to talk about his story in Professor Rick Dunham's Multimedia Reporting class at 1:30 p.m.

Coincidentally, Professor Dunham's grandfather, Barrows Dunham, was fired from his job as chairman of the Philosophy Department at Temple University in Philadelphia the same year for refusing to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee. Both Dr. Dunham and Dr. Hodes are among the major characters in a book, "No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism & the Universities," about the persecution of radical professors on American college campuses during the "Red Scare" of the 1950s.

On Wednesday evening at 6 p.m., Professors Dunham and Gunn will be showing George Clooney's classic movie, "Good Night, and Good Luck," a drama which documents famed CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow's courageous coverage of Senator Joe McCarthy that led to the demagogic senator's downfall.

Visitors are welcome to attend either event. Please RSVP to

Here's an article about the effort by Peter Hodes and his siblings to clear his father's name:

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