By Lauren Kessler
Communists vilified her as a raging neurotic. Leftists disregarded her as a burdened idealist. Her kinfolk pitied her as an exploited lover. a few stated she was once a traitor, a stooge, a mercenary and a grandstander. To others she used to be a real American heroine—fearless, principled, daring and resolute. Congressional committees enjoyed her. The FBI hailed her as an avenging angel. The Catholics embraced her. however the truth is, greater than part a century after she captured the headlines because the "Red undercover agent Queen," Elizabeth Bentley continues to be a mystery.
New England-born, conservatively raised, and Vassar-educated, Bentley was once groomed for a quiet lifestyles, a small lifestyles, which she explored in brief within the Nineteen Twenties as a instructor, teaching well-heeled younger women at the great thing about Romance languages at an east coast boarding tuition. yet in her mid-twenties, she rejected either previous and destiny and set herself on a completely new path. within the Thirties she embraced communism and fell in love with an undercover KGB agent who initiated her into the area of espionage. by the point the USA plunged into WWII, Elizabeth Bentley used to be directing the operations of the 2 biggest undercover agent earrings in the USA. ultimately, she had 80 humans in her mystery gear, 1/2 them staff of the government. Her resources have been in all places: within the departments of Treasury and trade, in New Deal organisations, within the top-secret OSS (the precursor to the CIA), on Congressional committees, even within the Oval Office.
When she defected in 1945 and informed her story—first to the FBI after which at a sequence of public hearings and trials—she was once catapulted to tabloid status because the "Red secret agent Queen," ushering in, virtually single-handedly, the McCarthy period. She used to be the government’s megastar witness, the FBI’s most crucial informer, and the darling of the Catholic anti-Communist circulation. Her disclosures and accusations positioned a halt to Russian spying for years and helped to set the tone of yank postwar political life.
But who used to be she? a wise, self sustaining girl who made her offerings freely, correct and improper, and had the energy of personality to work out them via? Or used to be she used and manipulated by means of others? smart woman is the definitive biography of a conflicted American girl and her arguable legacy. Set opposed to the backdrop of the political drama that outlined mid-twentieth century the United States, it explores the undercover agent case whose explosive household and overseas coverage repercussions were debated for many years yet no longer absolutely revealed—until now.
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Additional info for Clever Girl: Elizabeth Bentley, the Spy Who Ushered in the McCarthy Era
Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia) this mr. davis all the slaves, and a handful of them had positive memories of her. James Lucas said of the Davises that “he wuz good but she was better,” and another, Florida Hewitt, described her as a “ﬁne” mistress who could be very particular about the fare on the table. She could indeed be demanding. When a house slave did not work to her satisfaction, Mrs. Davis sent her into ﬁeld labor. 15 She did a small share of physical labor herself, although it never approached the hard work a yeoman farmer’s wife performed or the burdens a slave woman shouldered every day.
Varina described him as very intelligent and used to having his way, and a relative observed that Joseph did as he pleased and never deferred to anyone else. His racial attitudes were more progressive than those of many planters. Inspired by a chance meeting with the Scottish reformer Robert Owen in 1825, Davis created a jury system for slaves accused of wrongdoing, at which he presided as judge. He allowed a favorite slave named Ben Montgomery to become literate and run a mercantile business. His views on gender, however, were highly traditional, as was his marriage.
His views on gender, however, were highly traditional, as was his marriage. In 1827, at age forty-three, he married Eliza Van Benthuysen of New Orleans, whose mother ran a boardinghouse. She was sixteen, black-eyed, and tractable; as she grew older she became more sickly and neurotic. ”10 Not that Varina Howell thought very much about this household’s secrets, for she was falling madly in love with Jefferson Davis. They talked in the music room and took walks in the garden with what she called his “sweet voice” sounding in her ear, and she said later he was her ﬁrst love and the only man she ever loved.