'Red Scare' on Washington Square

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The Red Scare on Washington Square began a week ago. News broke that New York University's Tamiment Library was giving sanctuary to the archives of the Communist Party of the USA -- Lenin buttons and all -- and that speakers at a planned seminar would include its current leaders.

The headline writers of Rupert Murdoch's local paper, the New York Post, predictably fulminated with headlines warning of a "Red 'Love-in" on campus. For some, it seems, the McCarthy mindset has still not lifted. Sound the alarm, there are commie subversives in our midst; the nation is in peril.

"It's annoying, but that's who they are," was the only response of Michael Nash, the director of Tamiment, which sits on the south side of Washington Square and has long served as a hub of US leftist scholarship.

Nothing is going to dampen his excitement over what he says is the most valuable trove of historical material he has ever been granted access to in 30 years of archiving.

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