Cover: Nazis of Copley Square: The Forgotten Story of the Christian Front, from Harvard University PressCover: Nazis of Copley Square in HARDCOVER

Nazis of Copley Square

The Forgotten Story of the Christian Front

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$29.95 • £26.95 • €27.95

ISBN 9780674983717

Publication Date: 09/28/2021


336 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

15 photos


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Jacket: Nazis of Copley Square

PAPERBACK | $19.95

ISBN 9780674293878


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A great, but deeply unsettling, revelation… A searing examination of how a city—where for nearly four centuries the phrase ‘cradle of liberty’ has slipped effortlessly off the tongue with a distinct Boston accent—played host to a group whose leading figures spoke favorably of Nazi Germany… This book is more than an account of Boston in wartime. It is a warning.—David M. Shribman, Boston Globe

[A] well told, expertly researched, and much-needed history of the Christian Front, an organization that presages today’s far-right activity… Riveting. I found the result startling.—Paul Moses, Commonweal

Gallagher breaks new ground by diving deep into…the Christian Front’s activities in Boston… A great book that should be read by all.—Joe Allen, CounterPunch

A fascinating and terrifying story of terrorist plots, secret efforts to undermine the Allied war effort, and the stoking of antisemitic attacks… The language of the Christian Front—the barely coded appeals to antisemitism, the embrace of economic populism, and the effort to paint themselves as patriotic victims of discrimination—has a strong contemporary echo in the rhetoric of the US far right.—Robert Philpot, Jewish Chronicle

In the US, in the lead-up to WWII, a dangerous fascist movement sprang up through the Catholic church, drawing on priests, powerful lay people, and working-class parishioners. The movement, known as the ‘Christian Front,’ actively worked to support Nazi Germany in the US. Its history has mostly been swept under the rug, but Gallagaher is determined to shine a new light on it in his powerful new study.CrimeReads

Valuably excavates this buried past… One reason it is important to study the history of the Christian Front is that it elucidates the origins of the Christian right in the United States—roots that run deeper than the rise of Evangelical Protestants in the 1970s and 1980s or McCarthyism in the 1950s… [An] illuminating and compelling book.DigBoston

Takes a searing look at the Christian Front, an American extremist group that weaponized Catholicism… With historical complexity and suspenseful intrigue, Nazis of Copley Square reveals one of America’s secret and most disturbing domestic enemies.Foreword Reviews

Fascinating… Gallagher sheds valuable light on one of the darkest episodes in Irish American history.—Tom Deignan, IrishCentral

Extraordinarily well crafted and narrated… Gallagher has produced a masterful work in its analysis of the theological roots of an organisation that threatened great political and social harm. This book provides a timely, important reminder of the wider effects religious ideas can have in public life.—David Mislin, Journal of Ecclesiastical History

Shows that we cannot understand right-wing extremism without examining its violent history and the integral role of certain religious doctrines, which these ringleaders mobilized to justify violence, exclusion, anti-Semitism, and even collaboration with Nazi spies.—Eric Grube, New Books Network

An amazing whodunit that will keep readers glued to every page.Choice

An eye-opening look at the Christian Front, a far-right political movement founded in 1939… Gallagher also explains how the Christian Front’s ‘interlac[ing] of Christianity and patriotism’ influenced today’s religious right, and analyzes how political extremists exploit free speech protections. This vigorously researched chronicle uncovers a dark chapter in American history.Publishers Weekly

The rare book by a scholar that is such a page-turner it is hard to put down, Gallagher’s Nazis of Copley Square is a potent brew of spy story, detective story, and frank, fearless account of how a significant wing of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States spawned a movement aimed at defending Hitler and sabotaging America’s war effort.—David I. Kertzer, author of The Pope and Mussolini

Writing about American Nazi sympathizers who rooted their rage in mainstream Catholic theology poses a remarkable challenge. Pluralist society already has a hard enough time confronting violent hatred underwritten by sincere religious faith; historians writing about such subjects face the second challenge of achieving empathy with their subjects without sacrificing moral opprobrium. Charles R. Gallagher meets both challenges with aplomb—and throws in some thrilling World War II spy stories to boot. Highly recommended.—Rick Perlstein, author of Reaganland

When historians speak of Americans who supported Hitler’s Third Reich, they generally refer to Father Charles Coughlin or the German American Bund. In his excellently researched and rivetingly written book, Gallagher reminds us the danger was more widespread. A movement of far-right American Catholics not only fostered sympathy with Nazism but spread virulent anti-Semitism. The Nazis of Copley Square laid the groundwork for today’s Christian nationalism. When we hear those ideas expressed today, we are shocked. Gallagher demonstrates they have roots reaching back many decades. The danger was real then. And it is real today.—Deborah E. Lipstadt, author of Antisemitism: Here and Now

A virtuoso piece of historical detective work that dramatically enhances our understanding of right-wing (and Catholic) anti-Semitism and radicalism during the turbulent 1930s and 1940s.—John T. McGreevy, author of American Jesuits and the World: How an Embattled Religious Order Made Modern Catholicism Global

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