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Schmidt, Regin
Red Scare
FBI and the Origins of Anticommunism in the United States

2000, 394 s., hft.
ISBN 978-87-7289-581-9

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The anticommunist crusade of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its legendary director J. Edgar Hoover during the McCarthy era and the Cold War has attracted much attention from historians during the last decades, but little has been known about the Bureau's political activities during its formative years. This work breaks new ground by tracing the roots of the FBI's political surveillance to the involvement of the Bureau's predecessor, the Bureau of Investigation (BI), in the nation's first period of communist-hunting, the "Red Scare" after World War I. The book is based on the first systematic and comprehensive use of the early BI files from 1908 to 1922, which have only survived on difficult-to-read microfilms deposited in the National Archives, as well as numerous collections of personal papers.

The FBI's political surveillance was not a result of popular hysteria, such as scholars used to claim, or a rational response to communist spying and the Cold War confrontation, such as a number of historians have recently argued. Instead, it was an integrated part of the attempt by the modern federal state, rooted in the Progressive Era, to regulate and control any organized opposition to the political, economic and social order, such as organized labor, radical movements and African-American protest. The detailed reconstruction of the BI's role in the Red Scare during 1919 and 1920 shows that the federal intelligence officials played a crucial role in initiating the anticommunist hysteria in the United States. Despite its small staff, the BI was able to influence national events by exchanging information with a network of patriotic groups, assisting local authorities in drafting antiradical legislation and prosecuting radicals, and using congressional committees to spread its message. The Bureau also strove to discredit the strike wave and race riots of 1919 as the work of communists. The account also throws new light on such dramatic and controversial events as the Seattle General Strike, the Centralia Massacre, and the deportation of the famous anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman. The book shows how entrenched political surveillance had become by the early 1920s and how it continued until World War II and the Cold War.

Regin Schmidt, PhD, is a Research Fellow, Department of History, University of Copenhagen.

The book was selected for the Choice Outstanding Academic Books 2002.

Emneområde | Historie | Samfunds­videnskaberne og politik |
Emneord | Fagforeninger | Forvaltning | Patriotisme | Politik | Staten |
Specifikt emneord | Anarkisme | Antikommunisme | FBI | Strejke |
Land | USA |
Biograferet person | J. Edgar Hoover |
Periode | 20. årh. |
Sprog | Engelsk |


1. Introduction: FBI and the Politics of Anticommunism
The Literature on the FBI • Theories on the Development of the FBI’s Political role • The Theses • The Sources

2. The Origins of the Red Scare
1919: The Revolution That Never Was • An Apathetic Opinion • The Business Offensive • The Patriotic Right • The Sensationalistic Press • The States Crack Down • “The Search for Order” • The Bureau of Investigation and “the Administrative State” • The Federalization of Political Surveillance • Controlling the Aliens • The Betrayal of the Blacks • The War Against Radical Labor • The Wilson Administration and the Red Scare

3. The Bureau and the Red Scare
The Bureau and the Drive for Bureaucratic Expansion • The Personification of Social Unrest • The Bureau Network and Political Associationalism • The Bureau and the Patriotic Right • The Bridgman Affair • The Centralia Massacre • The Destruction of the World War Veterans • Following the Federal Lead: The Bureau and the States • The Bureau and the Lusk Committee

4. Constructing the Red Scare
Assessing the Revolutionary Danger: The Seattle General Strike • Publicizing the Revolutionary Danger: The Overman Committee • Keeping the Files Up to Date • “The Anarchist Fighters”: The Bombscare of 1919 • Financing the Red Scare: The Bureau and the Congress • Organizing the Red Scare

5. 1919: Containing the Social Unrest
“The Government is Watching” • Defending the Racial Order • The Red Summer of 1919 • The Surveillance of Black Radicals • Strikebreaking • Protecting the National Economy • The Boston Police Strike • The Steel Strike • The Coal Strike • The Surveillance of Organized Labor

6. The Palmer Raids: Deporting Political Ideas
The Poindexter Resolution • The Origins of the Deportation Campaign • “A Vigorous and Comprehensive Campaign” • The Bureau Crusade: Banishing Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman • Rounding Up the

Pressen skrev

"Schmidt's impressive monograph is based on extensive reading of the secondary literature and research into relevant, accessible primary sources - most notably, FBI records either microfilmed in their entirety for the 1908-22 period or released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests. [...] Schmidt's research into new sources (FBI records of the 1919-22 period) and tightly reasoned analyses challenge the interpretations of other scholars, some of whom locate FBI political surveillance in the Cold War era, while others have attributed this development to popular anticommunism, the impact and bureaucratic genius of former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, or the autonomy inherent in secret bureaucrasies. This monograph will compel historians and political scientists to reassess some of their conclusions. Highly recommended for all collections."
- A. Theoharis (Marquette University), Choice

"Schmidt makes a strong case that the FBI's political
Samtlige udgivelser på forlaget med -

Regin Schmidt som forfatter

Red Scare
2004, ISBN 978-87-635-0012-8, e-publikation
The Bureau and the Red Scare
2004, ISBN 978-87-635-0004-3, e-publikation
The Origins of the Red Scare
2004, ISBN 978-87-635-0003-6, e-publikation
Introduction: FBI and the Politics of Anticommunism
2004, ISBN 978-87-635-0002-9, e-publikation
Constructing the Red Scare
2004, ISBN 978-87-635-0005-0, e-publikation
The Palmer Raids: Deporting Political Ideas
2004, ISBN 978-87-635-0008-1, e-publikation
1919: Containing the Social Unrest
2004, ISBN 978-87-635-0007-4, e-publikation
The Decline and Fall of the Red Scare
2004, ISBN 978-87-635-0009-8, e-publikation
Aftermath: The FBI and Presidential Politics
2004, ISBN 978-87-635-0010-4, e-publikation
The FBI and Political Surveillance: From the Red Scare to the Cold War
2004, ISBN 978-87-635-0011-1, e-publikation

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