WHO: Betty Medsger
WHAT: The Burglary:
The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI
WHEN: Published by Knopf January 19, 2014
WHERE: The robbery took place in Media, PA.
WHY: “The definitive account of…perhaps the most powerful single act of nonviolent resistance in American history.
“When a huge trove of classified documents was stolen from the Media PA branch office of the FBI in 1971, Medsger was one of the first journalists to cover the story. Four decades later, she has tracked down the perpetrators, whose identities had never before been revealed.
“The burglary revealed to the public how the Bureau served as ‘secret judge, secret jury, and secret warden’ in its efforts to ‘intimidate people from exercising their right to dissent.’
“The richly detailed narrative flows seamlessly from the planning and commission of the break-in to the FBI’s bungled investigation to the explosive aftermath of the files’ release. In its zeal to bring the perpetrators to justice, the FBI provided much support for the Camden 28, mistakenly believed to have committed the Media burglary as well, to rob a draft board–an attempted sting that became instead a watershed moment for the antiwar movement when the defendants were acquitted by jury nullification. Medsger concludes by following up with each of the plotters, most of whom have since enjoyed quiet lives since, unlike those who have appropriated classified files more recently.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“Medsger captures the domestic political ferment of the 1970s on a large canvas.
An ambitious, meticulous account of a successful burglary of the FBI, during a different time of controversy regarding governmental surveillance.”
“This work encapsulates an important event of interest to readers of the history of the antiwar movement.” —Gilbert Taylor, BOOKLIST
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