In the corridors of the Vatican on the eve of World War II, American Catholic priest Joseph Patrick Hurley found himself in the midst of secret diplomatic dealings and intense debate. Hurleys deeply felt American patriotism and fixed ideas about confronting Nazism directly led to a mighty clash with Pope Pius XII. It was 1939, the earliest days of Piuss papacy, and controversy within the Vatican over policy toward Nazi Germany was already heated. This groundbreaking book is both a biography of Joseph Hurley, the first American to achieve the rank of nuncio, or Vatican ambassador, and an insiders view of the alleged silence of the pope on the Holocaust and Nazism.Drawing on Hurleys unpublished archives, the book documents critical debates in Pope Piuss Vatican, secret U.S.-Vatican dealings, the influence of Detroits flamboyant anti-Semitic priest Charles E. Coughlin, and the controversial case of Croatias Cardinal Stepinac. The book also sheds light on the powerful connections between religion and politics in the twentieth century.