Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power
On sale: July 23
For a review copy (US and Canada only), or to schedule an interview with Seth Rosenfeld, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com.
Winner of the Ridenhour Book Prize
PRAISE FOR SUBVERSIVES
“Subversives has a powerful story to tell about the vanity and stupidity of political leaders of any persuasion who squander public resources spying on personal enemies…and the frightening weakness of the laws designed to restrain their authority.”—Matt Taibbi, The New York Times Book Review
“Crucial history. It’s also a warning….Rosenfeld has an agenda in this book of patience and passion: setting straight a previously hidden—and consequential—record….Chilling.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“A well-written, dramatic narrative on Berkeley in the 1960s containing many scoops…Significant.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Masterfully researched…A potent reminder of the explosiveness of 1960s politics and how far elements of the government were (and perhaps still are) willing to go to undermine civil liberties.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Narrative nonfiction at its best.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
Part history, part biography, and part police procedural, SUBVERSIVES is a fresh look at the legacy of the sixties and a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked power.
SUBVERSIVES traces the FBI’s secret involvement with three iconic figures at Berkeley during the 1960s: the ambitious neophyte politician Ronald Reagan, the fierce but fragile radical Mario Savio, and the liberal university president Clark Kerr. Through their converging narratives, the award-winning investigative reporter Seth Rosenfeld tells a dramatic and disturbing story of FBI surveillance, illegal break-ins, infiltration, planted news stories, poison-pen letters, and secret detention lists.
The FBI spent more than one million dollars trying to block the release of the secret files on which SUBVERSIVES is based. This is an extraordinary view of what the government was up to during a turning point in our nation’s history.
ABOUT SETH ROSENFELD
SETH ROSENFELD was for many years an investigative reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, where his article about the FBI and the Free Speech Movement won seven national awards.