“A classic case study. There is humor here and mystery, too. But most of all, there is hard evidence–in the FBI’s own words–of what happens when government substitutes paranoia for law.” —Floyd Abrams
“A strident and impermissable effort to second-guess the wisdom of the FBI. . . . A potpourri of conjecture, supposition, innuendo and surmise.”–from the FBI’s court documents
“Jon Wiener has put together a remarkable compilation of documents. I know of no keener annotations to any documents illustrating government surveillance. Wiener’s commentary is as sprightly as the documents are foolish. He is thorough, appropriately droll at times, and rightly focused on the question of whether the FBI and the CIA were keeping to their lawful mandates during the years of abandon and evasion.”–Todd Gitlin, author of The Sixties
FROM THE REVIEWS:
“If only the New Left and the ‘youth culture’ that coexisted with it had been as threatening to the US government as the latter seemed to believe. That wistful thought occurs while perusing this chronicle of the Nixon administration’s harassment of John Lennon for his involvement in radical causes during the early ’70’s. . . . For all the unintentional humor that pervades these documents, they convey a far more sobering message: how willing the governement has been at times to spy on, intimidate, and harass those whom it regards as its most effective critics.” – – Mother Jones, Nov./Dec. 1999.
“Return with Wiener to another, not necessarily simpler but very different time when governments feared revolution by the young, fomented by a rock star. . . . The documents constitute an impressive display of wrong-headedness . . . A great period piece.” – – Booklist, Dec. 1, 1999