Radioactive

Ep. 7: Sedition

Father Coughlin incites his most extreme followers to violence, and the FBI uncovers the Christian Front’s plans for an anti-government uprising

November 16, 2021

Faced with political defeat, Father Coughlin drops the diplomacy. He plagiarizes Joseph Goebbels in his Social Justice magazine and writes fan mail to Mussolini. His Kristallnacht broadcast gets him kicked off major radio stations, and he incites his followers in the paramilitary organization known as the Christian Front to undertake violence in the streets. The FBI raids the Christian Front headquarters in Brooklyn, arresting 17 men and leading to the trial of the so-called “Brooklyn Boys.”

Radioactive is hosted by Detroit-based journalist Andrew Lapin and produced by Tablet Studios. The series weaves together archival material and present-day interviews to tell the dramatic story of Father Charles Coughlin’s embrace of radio, the nascent mass media of his day, to attain nearly unparalleled cultural influence and broadcast his antisemitic, nationalist views into millions of living rooms across America.

Our theme music is from The Ghost Writer and was composed by Alexandre Desplat. All speeches and material of Father Coughlin are authentic to the source, as well as music and other audio from his radio program.

For more information on all of Tablet’s podcasts, visit tabletmag.com/podcasts.

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