Jews, Religion, and Communism in the Cold War
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.
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