A Catholic Cold War: Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., and the Politics of American Anticommunism
By: Patrick J. McNamara (author)Hardback
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This book is the first biography in 42 years of the priest and educator whom
historians have called "the most important anticommunist in the country."
Edmund A. Walsh, as dean of Georgetown College and founder in 1919 of its
School of Foreign Service, is one of the most influential Catholic figures of the
20th century. Soon after the birth of the Bolshevik state, he directed the Papal
Relief Mission in the Soviet Union, starting a lifelong immersion in Soviet and
Communist affairs. He also established a Jesuit college in Baghdad, and served
as a consultant to the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal.
A pioneer in the new science of geopolitics, Walsh became one of Truman's most
trusted advisers on Soviet strategy. He wrote four books, dozens of articles, and
gave thousands of speeches on the moral and political threat of Soviet Communism
in America. Although he died in 1956, Walsh left an indelible imprint on the
ideology and practical politics of Cold War Washington, moving easily outside the
traditional boundaries of American Catholic life and becoming, in the words of one
historian, "practically an institution by himself." Few priests, indeed few Catholics,
played so large a role in shaping American foreign policy in the 20th century.
Patrick McNamara is an Archivist at the diocese of Brooklyn and teaches history at St. Francis College, St. Joseph's Seminary, and the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception.
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