Through thousands of government documents, The Amerasia Affair, China and Postwar Anti-Communist Fervor illustrates the perceptions of espionage and uncovers the inner workings of the postwar anti-Communism movement. This collection provides unique documentation for scholars of political, radical, and social history; government and politics; Asian studies; and more.
In 1945, Kenneth Wells, an analyst with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), noticed that an article in Far East-focused magazine AMERASIA was almost identical to a 1944 report he had written on Thailand. OSS agents broke into AMERASIA's New York offices, where they found hundreds of classified documents from the Department of State, the Navy, and the OSS.
A subsequent FBI investigation suggested editor Philip Jaffe had probably obtained the documents from State Department employee Emanuel Larsen and Naval Intelligence Officer Andrew Roth. In carrying out its probe, the FBI illegally broke into offices and homes, installing bugs and wiretaps. But no evidence indicated documents had been forwarded to a foreign power.
Unlike Alger Hiss or the Rosenberg cases, the Amerasia Affair did not lead to epic courtroom confrontation, imprisonment, or execution. Nevertheless, as the first public drama charging that respectable American citizens had spied for the Communists, it contributed to the creation of McCarthyism in American life.
"The content of Archives Unbound makes it an excellent resource for students doing research in political science, history, or ethnic studies, as well as multidisciplinary research. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers." --Choice, March 2011