Tells the remarkable story of the Jewish moguls in Hollywood who established the first anti-Nazi Jewish resistance organization in the country in the 1930s
"Laura B. Rosenzweig provides a different perspective on a complex topic [namely, how Leon Lewis, a Los Angeles attorney who happened to be Jewish, organized the LAJCC...and filed meticulous reports on pro-Nazi activities.]"
—Western States Jewish History
"The product of over a decade of research, this book documents the work of the Los Angeles Jewish Community Committee in infiltrating and combating Nazi groups in Los Angeles between 1934 and 1941.The LAJCC findings quoted here will surprise readers in showing how extensive and active pro-Nazi groups were in Southern California. Rosenzweig has produced a fine, very-well-documented study."
"Hollywood's Spies has a good story to tell."
—The Weekly Standard
"A remarkable tale...Hollywood moguls did not speak out publicly against Nazi Germany, but Ms. Rosenzweig's book show[s] that they did take vigorous action against the Nazi threat."
—Wall Street Journal
"Reveal[s] the hitherto untold story of Jewish resistance to Nazi infiltration, not in Berlin or Warsaw but in Los Angeles during the 1930s, a time when Nazism, a distant rumble on the horizon for most Americans, was for tens of thousands of others a siren call to action."
—Chronicle of Higher Education
"Hollywood's Spies expose[s] a buried story about underground plots waged by Nazis against major Hollywood figures as part of a plan to win over the United States. The quiet heroism of Lewis and his allies is a too-long-neglected tale about the power of volunteers and activist citizens to make a difference in frightening times."
—Los Angeles Review of Books
"Hollywood’s Spies is a very insightful book...[It] fills several holes in our knowledge of Nazi operations on the US soil and Hollywood."
—The Washington Book Review
“It is rather remarkable that a story that has waited 80 years to be told should be the focus of two books released within a month of each other. But we are fortunate that this story has finally emerged and that it has been related so capably.”
"If you have little interest in intrigue, history, and unearthing new worlds, then by all means read no further. If, however, you want to read a vitally important story, skillfully written by a new and gifted voice in the world of modern Jewish history, then pull up a chair and begin. You are in for an exciting ride!"
—Rabbi David Woznica, Stephen Wise Temple
- "Laura Rosenzweig uncovers a fascinating history of systematic Jewish efforts to infiltrate pro-Nazi organizations in Los Angeles in the 1930s. She tells the story with verve and vigor, raising important questions about American Jewish political activism in the years leading up to the Holocaust."
—Deborah Dash Moore, author of Jewish New York: The Remarkable Story of a City and a People
"A welcome new voice in the world of Jewish writing and scholarship, Laura Rosenzweig has produced a book that tells a virtually unknown story and that deserves to be told, the struggle by American Jews to infiltrate and discredit pro-Nazi antisemites. Rosenzweig is a gifted storyteller and the story she tells in Hollywood's Spies is an important one."
—Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of Jewish Literacy
"Expertly mining a previously unexplored treasure trove of covert reports, Laura Rosenzweig’s carefully researched monograph sheds new light on Berlin-sponsored pro-Nazi activity in America and on the daring defense work of one American Jewish organization in response to that activity. Rosenzweig carefully documents the Los Angeles Jewish Community Committee’s extensive undercover surveillance of hostile groups in Southern California and provides a brilliant analysis of its impact on national perceptions of the domestic pro-Nazi menace. Demonstrating the active role of Jewish Hollywood moguls and detailing the cloak-and-dagger exploits of individual informants, Rosenzweig adds a new dimension to our understanding of American Jewish responses to domestic antisemitism."
—Ellen Eisenberg, author of The First to Cry Down Injustice? Western Jews and Japanese Removal During WWII
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