About the author: Joseph Walwik holds a PhD in History from American University. He is on the Faculty of History at the Metropolitan Community Colleges in Kansas City, Mo.2002 0-7734-7176-6
In the summer of 1949, the Cold War came to Peekskill, NY, as two proposed Paul Robeson concerts were marred by the protests of local veterans’ organizations. The protests exploded into violence as area residents joined the protest. This even provides important insights into the nature of American anti-communism in the early Cold War. The riots, and anti-communism in general, have long been portrayed as the result of political manipulation. This work suggest that it is more a rational response to local, national, and international events than it is a product of political conspiracy. This work rectifies the usual overly-simplified view by examining the cause-and-effect relationships that led to the events, within the larger context of the Cold War.