Racial Matters: The FBI's Secret File on Black America, 1960-1972

Kenneth O'Reilly, Author Free Press $18.95 (456p) ISBN 978-0-02-923681-9
In thousands of civil rights skirmishes, FBI agents stood by passively as protesters were beaten by Ku Klux Klansmen and segregationists. In this searing expose, O'Reilly ( Hoover and the Un-Americans ) argues persuasively that FBI director J. Edgar Hoover's campaign to destroy the civil rights movement made headway because the Kennedy and Johnson administrations tolerated it. With information from declassified FBI files and other documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, O'Reilly, who teaches at the University of Alaska, demonstrates that the FBI deployed an army of some 7000 ``ghetto informants'' to spy on black political groups. A zealous FBI campaign helped destroy the Black Panther party; electronic surveillance, break-ins and mail-openings extended to black student groups. Among the 1191 names on the FBI's ``Agitator Index'' was that of Jesse Jackson, who was subjected to wiretaps and other forms of surveillance. Under Nixon, FBI programs directed against blacks continued, according to O'Reilly. This important book complements Herbert Mitgang's Dangerous Dossiers. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Paperback - 468 pages - 978-0-02-923682-6
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