Naming Names, by Victor S. Navasky. New York: Penguin Books. 482 pp. $5.95

A significant study of the congressional 'investigation'' into the political rectitude of the film industry and nation-at-large - which includes events that both precede and follow the career of Wisconsin demagogue, Joseph McCarthy. Navasky has created a ''moral detective story'' that reveals through probing interviews the House Un-American Activities Committee's sordid history.

Ultimately what was at stake was the quality of trust - personal, and social - without which no society can survive. Navasky characterizes name-naming as a ''degradation ceremony,'' the moral price a victim pays for readmittance to the tribe. Such rites expose something about a society which it aspires to disclaim, and this may be the reason that 30 years later we still are haunted by those events.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.