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'Vermont Edition' Revisits Books About The Red Scare And Scandal In The State

Author Rick Winston's book "Red Scare In The Green Mountains" looks at the era of McCarthyism in Vermont from 1946 through 1960.
Rootstock Publiching, Courtesy
Author Rick Winston's book "Red Scare In The Green Mountains" looks at the era of McCarthyism in Vermont from 1946 through 1960.

Vermont Edition presents two encore interviews with Vermont authors who wrote about some rather compelling moments in the state's history: how Vermont weathered instances of Red Scare, and a judiciary scandal that reached all the way to the Vermont Supreme Court.

We start with Rick Winston, the former co-owner of Montpelier's Savoy Theater, to talk about his book, Red Scare In The Green Mountains: Vermont in the McCarthy Era 1946-1960. He discusses how Vermonters from newsrooms to the Statehouse experienced, participated in and responded to the Red Scare.

It was a time of blacklists, attacks on the free press, intolerance and fear used for political gain. The Red Scare and anti-communist McCarthyism flourished across America — and Vermont — in the 1940s and '50s.

Credit Onion River Press, Courtesy
Retired lawyer James Dunn's book looks at the scandal surrounding Chittenden County Assistant Judge Jane Wheel in the 1980s.

This discussion originally aired July 27, 2018.

We then discuss a scandal that included lying under oath, twisting court decisions for personal gain, misuse of public money and corruption in the judiciary that went all the way to Vermont’s highest court. 

Retired Burlington attorney James Dunn's book Breach of Trust: The Ethics Scandal That Challenged the Integrity of the Vermont Judiciary tells the story of Chittenden County Assistant Judge Jane Wheel and how an investigation into her misconduct ultimately led to two dozen ethics violations brought against three Vermont Supreme Court justices.

This discussion originally aired Oct. 3, 2018.

Broadcast on Monday, Aug. 12, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Ric was a producer for Vermont Edition and host of the VPR Cafe.
Mary Williams Engisch is a local host on All Things Considered.
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