Patriotic Betrayal: The Inside Story of the CIA's Secret Campaign to Enroll American Students in the Crusade Against Communism

Karen M. Paget. Yale Univ., $35 (552p) ISBN 978-0-300-20508-4
Paget, an editor at the American Prospect, digs deeply into the CIA's infiltration of the National Student Association in the late 1940s. She begins by tracing (in well-sourced detail) the CIA's successful recruitment, management, and direction of the NSA, which effectively turned it into a Cold War tool dedicated to influencing the opinions of international student associations while discrediting Soviet propaganda efforts. It's long been known that the CIA covertly funded the NSA and manipulated its leadership, but the extent and depth of the CIA's influence has not been documented before. The various plots and subplots that surrounded the NSA's activities from the 1950s until the Vietnam War provide interesting reading and insights into the Cold War mentality. The CIA lost control of the NSA largely due to student dissent over the Vietnam War, and the agency quickly switched from directing NSA activities to targeting the organization for domestic surveillance. It's an instructive example of how the shifting political winds of the 1960s destroyed the mutuality of America's Cold War purpose. Paget's dense story is a case study of America's 1950s embrace of anti-communist dogma and the subsequent fracturing of its political consciousness in the Vietnam era. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/23/2015
Release date: 01/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 552 pages - 978-0-300-21066-8
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