American Political History Seminar - "(Un)Holy Spies: Religion and American Espionage in World War II"
Matthew Sutton, Washington State University
"(Un)Holy Spies: Religion and American Espionage in World War II"
Matthew Avery Sutton is Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor of History at Washington State University. Sutton is currently writing a book tentatively entitled FDR’s Army of Faith: Religion and Espionage in World War II, which will be published by Basic Books in 2019. This book tells the story of the rise of the United States’ first intelligence agency and its relationship to God. During World War II American leaders for the first time had to learn to navigate the complex ways in which the religious identities of peoples and nations shaped global conflict. They also had to determine how to use what they learned to their advantage. Leading the crusade into the mysterious netherworld of global religious faiths was a small army of missionaries, missionary executives, and adult missionary children, working for William “Wild Bill” Donovan’s Office of Strategic Services. Without necessarily anticipating the long-term consequences of their actions, they crafted new and important relationships for the United States with Mecca, the Vatican, and Zion. These relationships profoundly shaped the trajectory of American involvement with the rest of the world from the CIA’s Cold-War battle against “godless” communism to the “war on terror.” More about Sutton
The American Political History seminar series serves as a forum for scholars interested in American political history, broadly defined. Based in the Department of History, the seminar brings together faculty and graduate students from across campus for an exchange of ideas and an exploration of cutting-edge work in this resurgent field. The seminar offers Princeton graduate students a chance to meet with pre-eminent scholars working in American political history and discuss their works in progress. The seminars are organized by Professors Kevin Kruse and Julian Zelizer.