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December 27 , 2007

The Dangers of Dissent

The FBI and Civil Liberties since 1965


While most studies of the FBI focus on the long tenure of Director J. Edgar Hoover (1924-1972), The Dangers of Dissent shifts the ground to the recent past. The book examines FBI practices in the domestic security field through the prism of 'political policing.' The monitoring of dissent is exposed, as are the Bureau's controversial 'counterintelligence' operations designed to disrupt political activity. This book reveals that attacks on civil liberties focus on a wide range of domestic critics on both the Left and the Right. This book traces the evolution of FBI spying from 1965 to the present through the eyes of those under investigation, as well as through numerous FBI documents, never used before in scholarly writing, that were recently declassified using the Freedom of Information Act or released during litigation (Greenberg v. FBI). Ivan Greenberg considers the diverse ways that government spying has crossed the line between legal intelligence-gathering to criminal action. While a number of studies focus on government policies under George W. Bush's 'War on Terror,' Greenberg is one of the few to situate the primary role of the FBI as it shaped and was reshaped by the historical context of the new American Surveillance Society.
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