Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single Superpower World

In 1964, a book entitled The Invisible Government shocked Americans with its revelations of a growing world of intelligence agencies playing fast and loose around the planet, a secret government lodged inside the one they knew that even the president didn’t fully control.

Almost half a century later, everything about that “invisible government” has grown vastly larger, more disturbing, and far more visible. In his new book, Tom Engelhardt takes in something new under the sun: what is no longer, as in the 1960s, a national security state, but a global security one, fighting secret wars that have turned the president into an assassin-in-chief. This is a powerful survey of a democracy of the wealthy that your grandparents wouldn’t have recognized.

Tom Engelhardt created and runs the website TomDispatch.com. He is also a co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of a highly praised history of American triumphalism in the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture.  A fellow of the Type Media Center, his sixth and latest book is A Nation Unmade by War.

Reviews/Praise

“In his regular, incisive, and often searing columns, Tom Engelhardt has uncovered layer after layer of deceit, fraud, and distortion to reveal to us harsh truths about power and its exercise that we must comprehend, and resist, and reverse, if there is to be any hope of decent survival. Shadow Government is essential reading.”

Noam chomsky

“Tom Engelhardt is an iconoclast, but he also is the latest exemplar of a great American tradition. Like George Seldes and I. F. Stone before him, he has bypassed conventionally minded newspapers and magazines, and with his remarkable website and in books like this, found a way of addressing readers directly about the issues central to our time. Again and again, he goes to the heart of the matter, drawing on his awesomely wide reading, his knowledge of history, and his acute political radar system that uncovers small but deeply revealing nuggets of news and often makes me feel, enviously: how could I have missed that?”

Adam Hochschild, author, King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa

“Tom Engelhardt’s writing on the new forms of government surveillance is crucial because he has spent a lifetime studying the rise of the national security state. He can therefore put the contemporary practices of the National Security Agency and the destruction of the Fourth Amendment in the context of the rise of a twenty-first-century Leviathan that he has chronicled for us for decades. As we arrive a few decades late at Orwell’s 1984, Tom Engelhardt is our anti-Winston Smith, writing the newspaper articles back into their original form and washing out the propaganda.”

Juan Cole, author of The New Arabs, runs the Informed Comment website