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New insights on Ronald Reagan’s early role as an FBI informant

Monday, September 3, 2012

Bay Area journalist Seth Rosenfeld dishes more tidbits from his new book in a New York Times opinion piece, this time about Ronald Reagan. Seems the late president was even more of a Hollywood snitch for the FBI than was previously known while serving as president of the Screen Actors Guild. An excerpt from the weekend piece:

The newly released files flesh out what Reagan only hinted at. They show that he began to report secretly to the F.B.I. about people whom he suspected of Communist activity, some on the scantiest of evidence. And they reveal that during his tenure as president of the Screen Actors Guild in the ’40s and ’50s, F.B.I. agents had access to guild records on dozens of actors. As one F.B.I. official wrote in a memo, Reagan “in every instance has been cooperative.”

Among  the juicy revelations: Reagan even had the FBI spying on Maureen Reagan, his daughter with first wife Jane Wyman. Rosenfeld’s book: “Subversives: The F.B.I.’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power.”

Image: Ronald Reagan, Jane Wyman and young Maureen.

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