As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m (still) reading “American Prometheus,” the biography of the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who spearheaded the atomic bomb project at Los Alamos during the Second World War.
One of the things the book does quite well is recreate the climate of Cold War paranoia that led to the witch hunt that resulted Oppenheimer’s loss, despite his record of accomplishment and service to this country, of his security clearance.
Even as a young boy, I felt the oppressive weight of the Red Scare of the 1950s. Anyone, even someone who lived on your street, might be a closet Commie, a fifth-columnist, a fellow traveler. You could never be too careful.
Tomorrow’s story is about my discovery of one such shady neighbor, a man I suspected of giving the Soviets the secrets of our little block on Sleeper Ave.