|Author||Gregory S. Taylor|
|File size||2.8 MB|
Paul Crouch (1903–1955) was the quintessential anticommunist paid government informer. A naïve, ill-educated recruit who found a family, a livelihood, and a larger romantic cause in the Communist Party, he spent more than fifteen years organizing American workers, meeting with Soviet leaders, and trying to infiltrate the U.S. military with Communist soldiers.
He left the party in 1941, in part because of a growing conviction that the leadership had become dictatorial, but also in part out of vengeance for perceived wrongs. As public perceptions of Communism shifted during the Cold War, Crouch’s economic failures, desire for fame, and greed morphed him into a vehement ideologue for the anti-Communist movement.
During five years of testimony, he named Robert Oppenheimer, Charlie Chaplin, and many others as Communists and claimed the civil rights movement was Communist inspired. In 1954, much of Crouch’s testimony was exposed as perjury, but he remained defiant to the end.
How, and why, one southerner could become a loyal foot soldier on both sides of the Cold War ideological divide is the subject of Gregory Taylor’s incisive biography. Relying on personal papers, FBI records, and official Communist Party files, Taylor weaves through the seemingly contradictory life of the individual once known as the most dangerous man in America.