Catholic Action, Anti-Catholicism, and National Security Politics in World War II San Francisco
William Issel, San Francisco State University
William Issel, author of For Both Cross and Flag: Catholic Action, Anti-Catholicism, and National Security Politics in World War II San Francisco (Temple University Press, 2010) discusses the ordeal of civic leader Sylvester Andriano, an Italian-born naturalized citizen falsely accused of being a Fascist agent in 1942. The FBI and the United States Army accepted the spurious charges and excluded Andriano from California for over a year. The evidence Issel uncovered, drawn from declassified FBI files, Catholic Church and Communist Party records, and a variety of other archival sources, proves Andriano was framed by Italian anti-Catholic activists and political enemies in the Communist Party. Exploring the ramifications of Andriano’s story, Issel presents interesting implications for contemporary issues relating to urban politics, ethnic groups, and religion in a time of war.