. The FBI and the Catholic Church, 1935-1962. Massachusetts, 2009. 330p index afp; ISBN 9781558497290, $39.95. Reviewed in 2010oct CHOICE.
In a series of mini-biographical sketches, Rosswurm (Lake Forest College) focuses on the interconnectedness of men who expressed and exercised shared values of patriarchy and authority, hierarchical discipline, and the recognition of real threats to the respective organic bodies of the FBI and the Catholic Church. These men-in-charge established a special relationship that one could argue was symbiotic in its uniqueness, beginning not with the FBI in general, but with the "catholic Protestant"--J. Edgar Hoover. From Hoover's apex were born like-minded individuals who recruited, nurtured, and fed information to those "protestant Catholics," an excellent use of both "catholic" and "protestant" requiring readers to think beyond the mere religiosity of their connections. Their all-encompassing battle against communism necessitated that both organizations "put aside that which set [them] apart" "to intervene directly in the workings of citizens' group[s]" deemed harmful to the very core of Americanism. Subsequent chapters highlight specific individuals serving as point men in the battle of moral absolutes. The story, however, leaves the reader wanting. Do the catholic beliefs employing protestant means end with the demise of communism, or has their alliance moved on to other battlefields? Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -- G. Donato, Bentley University