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Spider WebThe Birth of American Anticommunism$
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Nick Fischer

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040023

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040023.001.0001

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Mapping a Political Network

Mapping a Political Network

The Anticommunist Spider Web

(p.80) Chapter 5 Mapping a Political Network
Spider Web

Nick Fischer

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the significance of the Anticommunist Spider Web to anticommunism. Members of the Anticommunist Spider Web formed a conspiracy against democracy that was far more influential than the “communist” conspiracy they fought. Protecting economic advantage was only part of the Anticommunist Spider Web's purpose. Business and political interests also used anticommunism as a tool to control foreign and domestic policy in the challenging environment created by the Great War, socialist revolutions in Europe, and the bitter industrial disputes of the postwar downturn. Government intelligence operatives were among those most concerned by anticommunism, and the Red Scare put state and military intelligence services at the heart of the Spider Web. This chapter discusses the relationship between the Bureau of Investigation, the US Army Military Intelligence Division, the US Navy Office of Naval Intelligence, and the private intelligence networks run by the Spider Web.

Keywords:   anticommunism, Anticommunist Spider Web, conspiracy, democracy, Red Scare, military intelligence, Bureau of Investigation, US Army Military Intelligence Division, US Navy Office of Naval Intelligence

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