Image of card in question:

enter image description here

Who are the three people in the image? The card comes with flavor text:

Sparked by fears that the “enemy is among us,” the “red scare” hit its apex with Senator Joseph McCarthy, and the hearings on “Un-American activities” in the House of Representatives during the 1950s. Soviet purges were a notorious aspect of power transition within the Kremlin. However, Stalin was the true master; 12 million people were imprisoned in his camps at the time of his death in 1953.

Which suggests that Joseph McCarthy is one of the three people in the image (Stalin is clearly not one of the three). Joseph McCarthy does bear a resemblance to the middle person in the card. However, I can't find who the other two people are, or the context of where/when the photo was taken. It also looks like McCarthy is being arrested (which would make thematic sense) but his Wikipedia page indicates he never was arrested.

  • The man with the cigarette is my grandfather, Donald A. Surine
    – Megan B
    Commented Oct 25, 2023 at 13:31

1 Answer 1


Roy Cohn (left) and Don Surine (right)

You correctly identify McCarthy (he's the one in the middle).

Searching for "joseph mccarthy aides" finds us the original uncropped photo as well as the caption

Mccarthy and aides

U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy consults two of his aides, Roy Cohn, left, and Don Surine, right, during the afternoon session of the McCarthy-Army hearing in Washington, D.C., April 26, 1954

Roy Cohn

  • 3
    The pose definitely does not look like "consulting" ...
    – Allure
    Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 2:31
  • 3
    Cohn seems to have had no interest in McCarthy in that manner. The selection of "coded feminine" poses by photographers, or their editorial selection, is part of an attempt to criticise by effeminisation. The absence of gazes by the subjects in the photo and their intimate conversation amplifies this. While the original photographer and Twilight Struggle seem to have chosen to do this to attack McCarthy (possibly because he's attacking the US Army) using coded accusations of gender non-conformance and homosexuality is tabloid editorial at best. Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 7:51
  • My impression was that this phenomena was far larger than tabloid editorial. But I suspect this discussion goes beyond the scope of the question. Wish I had enough background knowledge to ask a new question about the degree to which the composition of photographs constitutes an "editorial policy" (there is a better, more sophisticated way to ask that). Another aside: this might be a good example of a question that belongs in a SE refinement zone.
    – MCW
    Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 13:15
  • 2
    If those Mics were potentially live (I see 3 in this shot), this is just what those guys would have had to do to have a quick private 3-way confab without it getting broadcast.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 15:26

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