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Insidious Foes : The Axis Fifth Column and the American Home Front - Francis MacDonnell

Insidious Foes

The Axis Fifth Column and the American Home Front

Hardcover Published: 2nd November 1995
ISBN: 9780195092684
Number Of Pages: 264

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Nazi Germany's efforts to weaken the United States by subversion failed miserably. Bungling spies were captured and half-hearted efforts at sabotage came to nothing. Yet anyone who lived through WWII remembers the chilling posters warning Americans that "Enemy Agents Have Big Ears" and "Loose Lips Sink Ships." Even Superman joined the struggle against these insidious foes. In 1940, polls showed that 71% of Americans believed a Nazi Fifth Column had penetrated the country. Almost half were convinced that spies, saboteurs, dupes, and rumor-mongers lurked in their own neighborhoods and work-places. These fears extended to the White House and Congress.
In this book, Francis MacDonnell explains the origins and consequences of America's Fifth Column panic, arguing that conviction and expedience encouraged President Roosevelt, the FBI, Congressmen, Churchill's government, and Hollywood to legitimate and exacerbate American's fears. Gravely weakening the isolationists, fostering Congress's role in rooting out Un-American activities, and instigating the creation of the modern intelligence establishment, the Fifth Column scare did far more than sell movie tickets, comic books, and pulp fiction. Insidious Foes traces the panic from its origins in the minds of reasonable Americans who saw the vulnerability of their open society in an age of encroaching totalitarianism.

"Carefully researched and documented, this work offers an interesting historical view of an emotional and tense time in our history. A valuable source for those interested in World War II or in spy and espionage activities."--Library Journal "Insidious Foes is notable for its judicious arguement, cohesive organization, and enlarged perspective."--History "...on the whole a thorough exposition of an important yet hitherto neglected topic. It is well written and researched and represents a distinguished addition to the literature on contemporary American history."--American Historical Review "...MacDonnell effectively lays out the facts, how each event interacts with others and what result was created."--Military Review "Carefully researched and documented, this work offers an interesting historical view of an emotional and tense time in our history. A valuable source for those interested in World War II or in spy and espionage activities."--Library Journal "Insidious Foes is notable for its judicious arguement, cohesive organization, and enlarged perspective."--History "...on the whole a thorough exposition of an important yet hitherto neglected topic. It is well written and researched and represents a distinguished addition to the literature on contemporary American history."--American Historical Review "...MacDonnell effectively lays out the facts, how each event interacts with others and what result was created."--Military Review

Prefacep. vii
Preface to the 2004 Editionp. xi
Introductionp. 3
Prelude to the Fifth Column Scare: The Lessons of World War Ip. 11
Dangerous Demagogues, Men on Horseback, and Native Fascistsp. 29
The Opening Alarm: The Rumrich Spy Casep. 49
Other Fifth Columns: Italy, the Soviet Union, and Japanp. 73
"Perfidious Albion": Great Britain and the Fifth Columnp. 91
The Fifth Column in Europep. 107
Keeping the Panic Alive: German Propoganda, Espionage, and Sabotage in the United Statesp. 123
Franklin Roosevelt and the Fifth Columnp. 137
J. Edgar Hoover versus the Nazisp. 157
Conclusionp. 185
Notesp. 191
Bibliographyp. 229
Indexp. 239
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195092684
ISBN-10: 0195092686
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 264
Published: 2nd November 1995
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.72 x 16.05  x 2.72
Weight (kg): 0.53