Subversivestraces the FBI's secret involvement with three iconic figures at Berkeley during the 1960s the ambitious neophyte politician Ronald Reagan, the fierce but fragile radical Mario Savio, and the liberal university president Clark Kerr. Through these converging narratives, the award-winning investigative reporter Seth Rosenfeld tells a dramatic and disturbing story of FBI surveillance, illegal break-ins, infiltration, planted news stories, poison-pen letters, and secret detention lists. He reveals how the FBI's covert operations led by Reagan's friend J. Edgar Hoover helped ignite an era of protest, undermine the Democrats, and benefit Reagan personally and politically. The FBI spent more than $1 million trying to block the release of the secret files on whichSubversivesis based, but Rosenfeld compelled the bureau to release more than 250,000 pages, providing an extraordinary view of what the government was up to during a turning point in our nation's history. Part history, part biography, and part police procedural,Subversivesreads like a true-crime mystery as it provides a fresh look at the legacy of the sixties, sheds new light on one of America's most popular presidents, and tells a cautionary tale about the dangers of secrecy and unchecked power.div
While working as an investigative reporter for the San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle, Rosenfeld sued the FBI four times over the past 30 years to obtain confidential records under the Freedom of Information Act regarding the agency's covert campus activities at UC-Berkeley during the 1960s. Eventually compelling the FBI to release more than 250,000 pages from their files, he painstakingly recreates the dramatic-and unsettling-history of how J. Edgar Hoover worked closely with then California governor Ronald Reagan to undermine student dissent, arrest and expel members of Berkeley's Free Speech Movement, and fire the University of California's liberal president, Clark Kerr. Rosenfeld's vivid narrative focuses on three men: Kerr, who played a key role in guaranteeing all Californians access to higher education; Mario Savio, the charismatic student activist who led the Free Speech movement; and the ambitious Reagan, who was a more active FBI informer in his Hollywood days than previously known. By tracing the FBI's involvement with these figures, Rosenfeld reveals how the agency's counterintelligence program took tactics originally developed for use against foreign adversaries during the cold war and turned them on domestic groups whose politics the agency considered "un-American." Rosenfeld also draws on court transcripts, newspaper archives, oral histories, historical works, and hundreds of interviews. The result is narrative nonfiction at its best. Agent: Alice Martell, Martell Agency. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
August 21, 2012
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.