Temple University Press, 2010 http://www.temple.edu/tempress/titles/2034_reg.html
In this fascinating history set before and during World War II, William Issel recounts the civil rights abuses suffered by Sylvester Andriano, an Italian American Catholic whose religious and political activism in San Francisco provoked an Anti-Catholic campaign against him. A leading figure in the Catholic Action movement, Andriano was falsely accused in state and federal Un-American Activities Committee hearings of having Fascist sympathies. As his ordeal began, Andriano was subjected to a hostile investigation by the FBI, whose confidential informants were his political rivals. Ultimately, the U.S. Army ordered him to be relocated on the grounds that he was a security risk.
For Both Cross and Flag provides a dramatic account of what can happen when parties to urban political rivalries, rooted in religious and ideological differences, seize the opportunity provided by a wartime national security emergency to demonize their enemy as “a potentially dangerous person.”
Issel presents a cast of characters that includes archbishops, radicals, the Kremlin, and J. Edgar Hoover, to examine the significant role faith-based political activism played in the political culture that violated Andriano's constitutional rights. Exploring the ramifications of this story, For Both Cross and Flag presents interesting implications for contemporary events and issues relating to urban politics, ethnic groups, and religion in a time of war.
"Sylvester Adriano’s story needs to be told and Issel does a service to American history in writing For Both Cross and Flag.
He deals with a neglected aspect of American politics in World War II,
and makes a serious contribution to the study of anti-Catholicism in the
(Western) United States. In the hysteria of our post-911 world,
Issel’s book has a clear immediacy. For Both Cross and Flag fits in perfectly to discussions of religion, anti-Catholicism and secularization"
"Issel's splendid book... is a sad and tragic tale.... His
account of Sylvester Andriano also illustrates the wisdom of the Greek
tragedian Aeschylus, who said, 'In war the first casualty is truth.'"
"Highly engaging and thoroughly researched, this [book] aptly
demonstrates how international and national events impinged on domestic
security issues on a local level, using Italian-American Sylvester
Andriano as a test case. The book makes a significant contribution to
the literature as a local history with national implications.... Issel
weaves an extremely engaging story that is told with great passion."
"The description of the internal battles among San Francisco's
Italians provides an interesting case study of how the political and
social battles that had raged in Italy for several generations took root
on American soil. Issel has added another installment to the sad
wartime hysteria that sent thousands of innocent and loyal Californians
into exile for what would today be termed 'racial profiling.'"
"William Issel’s For Both Cross and Flag is a welcome
addition to the growing literature on American Catholicism during World
War II. While many scholars have examined the tension between Catholics
and Protestants before, Issel’s thoughtful and workmanlike examination
of the experiences of Sylvester Andriano, a Catholic attorney in San
Francisco, is a much-needed local study that raises many provocative
questions.... [It] is an excellent book that contributes a new and
unique perspective to our understanding of the history of
twentieth-century urban Catholicism."
"Most of Issel's tale is a description of the growth of
Catholic Action... For its careful scholarship and well considered
argument, this little book is warmly recommended to all academic
"Issel's work is instructive, compelling, and valuable... For Both Cross and Flag
ought to count as the first meaningful and pace-setting step in
recounting the history of Catholic Action in the United States. What is
praiseworthy about Issel's treatment is that he eschews the proclivity
to write functional organizational history. Instead, the author provides
contextualization for a regional history of Catholic Action which will
set the tone for how future historians will write about the movement....
[A] pathbreaking book for scholars interested in twentieth-century
Catholic history in general, and American anti-Catholicism in
particular.... In a concise, highly-readable book, Issel underscores the
vibrancy of San Francisco Catholic culture."
"Issel, a specialist in the political, social, and cultural
history of twentieth-century America, cover new territory in this
excellent study.... For Both Cross and Flag is illuminating on
several counts.... Well researched and persuasively argued, this slim
book is also relevant. Although the tragedy of Sylvester Andriano has
slipped down the memory hole, its recounting reminds us of the effect of
loyalty investigations on civil liberties in wartime. If some measure
of the worthiness of a book is that it teaches us things we ought to
remember, this is indeed a fine book."
"Beginning with the introduction, which presents an overview
of the case, Issel skillfully guides the reader through the layers of
Andriano’s story and presents his central point: that anti-Catholicism
played a key role in the decision of the Communist Party and
anti-Catholic fellow Italian immigrants to target him.... Issel has told
a story whose importance lies in its cautionary nature and its reminder
regarding the influence of immigrants’ homeland politics and religious
affiliation in domestic politics."
"It is Issel’s description of the process of Catholic Action
becoming something 'concrete' in the San Francisco area during the 1930s
and 1940s that gives value to this book.... Carefully and methodically,
Issel shows how Catholic leaders—including [Sylvester] Andriano, but
also Archbishops Edward Hanna and John Mitty along with Mayor Angelo
Rossi—worked to secure a just resolution of worker demands because they
saw those demands as legitimate given Catholic teaching.... [T]here is
no denying that his book, in its details, brings to life a period in
which San Francisco’s Catholics, and the Catholic Church in San
Francisco, faced a set of circumstances, locally and globally,
dramatically different from what is currently the case. Many
readers...will enjoy the book for this reason alone."
"Issel effectively portrays divisions in an Italian American
community that ranged from nuns and anarchists, underscores the
Roosevelt administration's mixed record on civil liberties, and
documents J. Edgar Hoover's disposition to ignore exculpatory evidence
in his search for subversives."