The Librarian Spies: Philip and Mary Jane Keeney and Cold War Espionage

By Rosalee McReynolds; Louise S. Robbins | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8
Caught in the Web

Balding, bespectacled, and stoop-shouldered, nearly six feet tall and pencil thin, Philip Olin Keeney was hardly the spy of melodrama or Cold War film. Nor was Mary Jane—just over five feet tall and quite bow-legged, with short, graying, straight hair—an espionage femme fatale. Bit players in the great unfolding drama of espionage and counterespionage, their relationships to those with larger parts placed them squarely center stage in the view of investigators trying to puzzle out the depth and breadth of Soviet spying, even if those relationships failed to clarify the exact nature of the Keeneys’ roles. Separate investigations would provide glimpses into the Keeneys’ connections—social and political—with accused spies and would expose their deep interest in the Soviet Union, making their lives far more difficult.

It was in the summer and fall of 1945 that Elizabeth Bentley—angry and afraid both of the Russians, who were trying to wrest the remnants of Jacob Golos’s espionage network from her, and of the FBI, which had begun to look closely at United States Service and Shipping—decided to take matters into her own hands. She first approached the FBI in August but delayed following through until Igor Gouzenko, a Russian code clerk attached to the Soviet embassy in Ottawa, defected in September and began to talk, followed in early October by the defection of Louis Budenz. Although she had no direct connection with the Canadian group, she knew that Budenz could identify her. Thus on November 7, 1945, a week after Mary Jane left for Paris to work on details of reparations over the recently ended war, Bentley walked into the New York FBI

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The Librarian Spies: Philip and Mary Jane Keeney and Cold War Espionage
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Philip 9
  • Chapter 2 - Mary Jane 15
  • Chapter 3 - The Librarians 25
  • Chapter 4 - Struggle 47
  • Chapter 5 - The Progressive Librarians’ Council 53
  • Chapter 6 - The Spies at Home 65
  • Chapter 7 - The Spies Abroad 87
  • Chapter 8 - Caught in the Web 99
  • Chapter 9 - The Un-Americans 112
  • Chapter 10 - Guilt and Association 125
  • Notes 135
  • Bibliography 161
  • Index 169
  • About the Authors 185
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