Marxist economist known for his analysis of the political economy of U.S. capitalism and comparative economic systems. Beginning in 1933, Perlo worked at a number of New Deal government agencies. During World War II, he served as chief of the Aviation Section of the War Production Board, in the Office of Price Administration and later at the Department of the Treasury. Beginning in the mid-1930s, Perlo was the alleged leader of a Communist Party “informational group,” from which some information probably reached Soviet intelligence through Communist Party channels, without identification of its sources.
In spring 1944, Perlo and three other leaders of the group were placed in contact with Elizabeth Bentley by Earl Browder, head of the Communist Party of the USA – and began providing information to the Soviets through Bentley. Later, the Soviets established direct contact with Perlo and a few of the members of his group. In November 1945, Bentley betrayed the Perlo group to the FBI, which began investigating its members and their contacts and associates. The investigation included mail coverage, technical (telephone), microphone and physical surveillance, “black bag” jobs to obtain private correspondence, diaries and other private assets, the use of informers, background investigations, etc. 1
- The FBI Silvermaster File, No 65-56402. ↩