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The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI

 
 
Author
Betty Medsger.
Publisher Knopf  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.45 x 6.55 x 1.5 inches
ISBN 9780307962959
Pages/Publication Date 596/2014
Daedalus Item Code 53384
This item is not available.
Description
Breaking in at the FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, in 1971, a group of eight unlikely activists—quiet, hardworking Americans—confirmed what some had long suspected: that J. Edgar Hoover was operating, in violation of the U.S. Constitution, his own shadow Bureau of Investigation. Their release of the files they found led to the first overhaul of the FBI since Hoover became its director in 1924. Betty Medsger, the first reporter to receive the FBI files, covered this story during her three years at the Washington Post and continued her investigation long after she'd left the paper, figuring out who the burglars were, and convincing them, after decades of silence, to come forward and tell their extraordinary story.

"A cinematic account ... by turns narrative and expository, The Burglary provides ample historical context, makes telling connections and brings out surprising coincidences ... [and] makes a powerful argument for moral acts of whistle-blowing in the absence of government action."—SFChronicle

"Riveting and extremely readable. Not just an in-depth look at a moment in history, The Burglary is also extremely relevant to today's debates over national security, privacy, and the leaking of government secrets to journalists."—Huffington Post

"In 1971, somebody burgled an FBI office in Pennsylvania, stole secret files, and sent them to journalists. One of the recipients, Medsger revisits the story because she has discovered who the burglars were (the FBI never identified them). Organized by a college teacher, they were a small group of academics and students whose act Medsger recounts with sympathy for their audacity and antiwar motivations. In discursive detail, Medsger recounts the protester-burglars' movements, from casing the building to publicizing the purloined documents (with interludes of their worries about their fates if caught), and follows the course of the futile FBI investigation into the caper. Besides dramatizing the incident, Medsger pursues its historical significance—the documents' revelation of extensive domestic surveillance by the FBI—into the congressional investigations of the 1970s. Medsger also discusses J. Edgar Hoover's appointment in 1924 and NSA activities in the present."—Booklist

 
 
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