The Moral Panic of the 1980’s

September 16th, 2015
mcmartinschool.jpgWe see today in the debate regarding immigration, a little bit about the the ways that falsehood and mass hysteria, mixed with doses of fear and change, can create a movement.

Back in the 1980’s a combination of delayed reaction to the 60’s, to the rise of woman, to the offshoots of feminism, coupled with the rise of the Christian Right and the changing American family, gave us a suburban fear that went beyond anything conjured up by Yates or Cheever.

One of the ways that it manifested itself  was in what became the longest criminal trial in US history, known as the McMartin preschool case.

Richard Beck takes us back to that time in his new book We Believe the Children: A Moral Panic in the 1980s

My conversation with Richard Beck: