By Lauren Kessler
Communists vilified her as a raging neurotic. Leftists pushed aside her as a pressured idealist. Her kin pitied her as an exploited lover. a few stated she was once a traitor, a stooge, a mercenary, and a grandstander. To others she was once 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 a part century after she captured the headlines because the "Red undercover agent Queen," Elizabeth Bentley is still a mystery.
New England-born, conservatively raised, and Vassar-educated, Bentley was once groomed for a quiet existence, a small existence, which she explored in brief within the Nineteen Twenties as a instructor, teaching well-heeled younger ladies at the fantastic thing about Romance languages at an East Coast boarding institution. 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 realm of espionage. by the point the US plunged into global struggle II, Elizabeth Bentley was once directing the operations of the 2 biggest undercover agent jewelry in the USA. finally, she had 80 humans in her mystery equipment, 1/2 them staff of the government. Her resources have been far and wide: within the departments of Treasury and trade, in New Deal organizations, within the top-secret OSS (the precursor to the CIA), on congressional committees, even within the Oval Office.
When she defected in 1945 and instructed her tale -- first to the FBI after which at a chain of public hearings and trials -- she used to be catapulted to tabloid popularity because the "Red undercover agent Queen," ushering in, virtually single-handedly, the McCarthy period. She was once the government's megastar witness, the FBI's most vital informer, and the darling of the Catholic anticommunist move. Her disclosures and accusations placed a halt to Russian spying for years and helped to set the tone of yankee postwar political life.
But who was once she? a wise, self reliant girl who made her offerings freely, correct and fallacious, and had the energy of personality to determine them via? Or was once she used and manipulated via others?
Clever Girl is the definitive biography of a conflicted American girl and her debatable 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 family and international coverage repercussions were debated for many years yet no longer totally printed -- till now.