Only once in a while does an original book come along that truly sheds new light on the Sixties as a whole. Karen Paget's forthcoming Patriotic Betrayal (Yale) is such a work, telling the inside story of how the CIA corrupted the natural and democratic growth of student rights by infiltrating and directing the National Student Association to its Cold War ends.
The story begins in the 50's, leaving many to wonder if it's not a stale and useless tale bynow. It's relevant today, however, because of the cancerous growth of Big Brother surveillance and the proliferation of clandestine operations branded in the name of "democracy promotion", from Cuba to the Ukraine. The pervasive rise of Secret Money in campaigns, moreover, makes it impossible to know whether operatives of our intelligence agencies have any role in harrassing radicals or steering social movements, or whether such roles have passed toprivate foundations. Democracy is increasingly in the dark. Any light from history can be high-beams to help illuminate the future. (Aee a full review at this site next week)