Charles GallagherNov 23, 2021
Nazis of Copley Square
The Forgotten Story of the Christian Front
Harvard University Press 2021
Nazis of Copley Square: The Forgotten Story of the Christian Front (Harvard UP, 2021) by Charles R. Gallagher, S.J., traces the machinations of far-right Catholic thinkers and activists in the US during the outbreak of the Second World War. The work highlights New York City and Boston as flashpoints of paramilitary Putsch plans and foreign espionage that radiated out from the Christian Front organization. The book strongly intervenes in numerous historiographies, complicating progressivist narratives of Catholic integration, overturning standard assessments of Nazi intelligence operations, and foregrounding radical right-wing agents too often dismissed as marginal. The work 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 is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at Boston College. He studies modern German and Austrian history, with a special interest in right-wing paramilitary organizations across interwar Bavaria and Austria. "Casualties of War? Refining the Civilian-Military Dichotomy in World War I", Madison Historical Review, 2019. "Racist Limitations on Violence: The Nazi Occupation of Denmark", Essays in History, 2017.