The 1950s Comic-Book Scare

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Before Elvis jolted the tranquilized '50s, shocking parents and preachers throughout the land, there were comic books. Years before they rocked to "Hound Dog," kids ogled the lurid pages of "Chamber of Chills," "Tomb of Terror" and "My Secret Affair."

Comics were a booming business — millions of copies sold every week — but they scared the daylights out of McCarthy-era America. Soon there were comic-book burnings, Senate hearings, and a censorship crackdown.

This hour, On Point: the great comic-book scare of the '50s.Guests:

David Hajdu, Professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and author of "The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How it Changed America."

Tony Davis, owner of The Million Year Picnic, a comic book store in Harvard Square.

This program aired on March 26, 2008.


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