Sunday, December 22, 2019

Matthew Avery Sutton

Matthew Avery Sutton's latest book is Double Crossed: The Missionaries Who Spied for the United States During the Second World War.

From his Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: Why did you decide to focus your new book on missionaries who spied for the U.S. during World War II?

A: I am a historian of American religion and politics. I stumbled across the story of some missionaries who had worked for the CIA during the Cold War. I was curious about the origins of this history, and what I discovered was that the U.S. government began recruiting missionaries as spies during World War II.

So from there I embarked on a long research process, which essentially entailed finding needles in haystacks. But once I started finding a few elusive missionary-spies, I got really excited about what I was learning, about the role they played during the war, and about what they tell us about the role of religion in American foreign policy, American culture, and American intelligence.

Q: You look at the careers of four men. Why did you choose these four, and what is the relationship between John Birch, one of the four, and the John Birch Society?

A: I had a few goals in mind as I selected the main characters.

First, I wanted to tell the story of...[read on]
The Page 99 Test: American Apocalypse.

--Marshal Zeringue