WHITE-OUT

THE CIA, DRUGS AND THE PRESS

An investigative report on the CIA’s involvement in drug dealing and other nefarious deeds and the failure of the press to expose them. Nation columnist Cockburn and St. Clair (co-writer with Cockburn and Ken Silverstein of the newsletter Counterpunch) begin their tale with an account of Gary Webb’s series in the San Jose Mercury News on the CIA’s connection with drug cartels in Latin America. The series set off a firestorm in the African-American community, as it appeared the US government was involved in bringing the plague of crack cocaine to poor black communities. The mainstream press—the New York Times, Washington Post, etc.—pilloried Webb, attacking the accuracy of his reporting and accusing him of fanning —black paranoia.— In the final chapter of the book, however, the authors offer an analysis of a subsequent CIA report that by and large substantiated Webb’s charges. The theme of the book is clear: the CIA acts badly, the mainstream press not only ignores but protects the CIA, yet it turns out the CIA is usually guilty of doing whatever it has been accused of. Cockburn and St. Clair present a litany of CIA misdeeds, from the recruitment of Nazi scientists after WWII to the arming of opium traffickers in Afghanistan. All of this is extremely well documented; much of it is well known, or should be. Yet what they do not do, despite the promise of the title, is spend much time on the press. Questions remain unanswered, under-theorized: Why does so much of the press seem subservient to the CIA? What are the mechanisms underlying this relationship? Does the CIA buy off the press, are reporters on the CIA payroll, or is there simply a cultural and class affinity between the press and the CIA that makes bribing unnecessary? A chilling history—that many will take issue with—of what the CIA has been up to the past 50 years, but disappointing in its analysis.

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 1998

ISBN: 1-85984-139-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Verso

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1998

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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