SUPERSPIES: The Secret Side of Government by Jules Archer

SUPERSPIES: The Secret Side of Government

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This might be seen as a book-length footnote to the last chapter of Police State (above), which refers to many of the same incidents--especially as the FBI, CIA, White House, and Police Department excesses reported here are not supplied with any context, not even the brief synopsis of the Bill of Rights provided in Police State. Instead this is chiefly a chronicle of agency abuses, from the CIA's secret tapping of King Farouk's urinal to the Cleveland police taps on their own mayor's phones. Young people previously unaware of such violations might well be shocked, which is all to the good, and there is much to be said for simply extending the exposure to a wider, younger audience. But those disinclined to believe the horror stories will find no citations to check and no clues as to how and when the facts came to light; and more disappointing is the absence of analysis that might make readers not only informed about past abuses but wise to their patterns and rationalizations. (Archer's complacent acceptance of Carter's promise to ""strip away secrecy in government"" is hardly the example we'd expect him to set.) Archer does muster a damning abundance of specific, dramatic examples--very handy for packing term papers, but only where one source is considered as good as the next and evaluation of evidence is not considered at all. Overall, more fuel for righteous outrage than food for thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Delacorte