Double Crossed: The Missionaries Who Spied for the United States During the Second World War

Basic. Sept. 2019. 416p. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9780465052660. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781541699670. HIST
Historian Sutton examines the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) recruitment of religious leaders as U.S. secret agents during World War II. Sutton primarily follows the careers of four Protestant missionaries: U.S. Marine Col. William Eddy, the president of a religiously affiliated college; Stewart Herman, pastor of the American Church in Berlin; John Birch, an evangelist in China; and Stephen Penrose, an administrator and member of the American Board of Foreign Missions. Many feared that using missionaries for intelligence work would endanger these religious leaders as well as church, relief, and refugee workers. However, during World War II, some missionaries believed it was necessary to serve both God and country. Their stories are little known because both the intelligence agencies and the missionaries themselves have been quiet about their dual roles. Sutton delves deeply into the lives of these four men, and spends less time analyzing the significance of their particular stories and how they relate to current events.
VERDICT Overall, recommended for scholars of World War II and religious history, and the history of espionage, as well as general readers interested in the intersection of American history and Christianity.

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