Cold War Critic
The Soviet Union's brutal occupation of Eastern Europe and ER's first-hand exposure to its obstructionism at the United Nations made her deeply mistrustful of the Soviets. During the early Cold War years she supported the Truman Doctrine and helped found the liberal anticommunist organization Americans for Democratic Action (ADA).
But ER worried about the Cold War's impact on civil liberties. She expressed grave misgivings about President Truman's 1947 government loyalty program. In 1955 she signed a petition seeking amnesty for American communists jailed under the Smith Act. And she took courageous stands against the reckless charges of extreme anti-communists, especially the House Un-American Activities Committee and Wisconsin Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. Her outspoken stance, and her association with the civil rights movement, made her a constant target of Red-baiters.