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FBI and ReligionFaith and National Security before and after 9/11$
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Sylvester A. Johnson and Steven Weitzman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520287273

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520287273.001.0001

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Hoover’s Judeo-Christians

Hoover’s Judeo-Christians

Jews, Religion, and Communism in the Cold War

Chapter:
(p.121) 7 Hoover’s Judeo-Christians
Source:
FBI and Religion
Author(s):

Sarah Imhoff

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520287273.003.0008

This chapter considers the FBI's ambivalent relationship to Jews and Judaism during the 1940s through the 1960s. It explains how could Jews be seen as unAmerican while Judaism was believed to play a foundational part in sustaining American values. On the one hand, mid-century antisemitism and Cold War ideologies combined to create suspicion of Jewish leftists, as the antagonistic relationship between the FBI and Hollywood demonstrated. On the other hand, "Judeo-Christian" rhetoric and the embrace of a "Judeo-Christian" tradition became an essential part of what differentiated America from the supposedly godless USSR for Hoover and many other Cold War era Americans. The author Sarah Imhoff, a scholar of American Judaism, explores this tension as she traces the fraught role of Jews in the FBI culture of the Hoover era.

Keywords:   antisemitism, Jews, Cold War, communism

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