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Author Moynihan, Daniel P. (Daniel Patrick), 1927-2003.

Title Secrecy : the American experience / Daniel Patrick Moynihan ; introduction by Richard Gid Powers
Published New Haven : Yale University Press, [1998]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (ix, 262 pages) : illustrations
Contents Chapter 1. Secrecy as regulation -- Chapter 2. The experience of World War I -- Chapter 3. The encounter with communism -- Chapter 4. The experience of World War II -- Chapter 5. The bomb -- Chapter 6. A culture of secrecy -- Chapter 7. The routinization of secrecy -- Chapter 8. A culture of openness
Summary Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, chairman of the bipartisan Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, here presents an eloquent and fascinating account of the development of secrecy as a mode of regulation in American government since World War I - how it was born, how world events shaped it, how it has adversely affected momentous political decisions and events, and how it has eluded efforts to curtail or end it. Senator Moynihan begins with the intriguing story of the Venona project, the Soviet spy cables intercepted during World War II and decrypted by the U.S. Army - but never passed on to President Truman. The divisive Hiss perjury trial and the McCarthy era of suspicion might have had a far different impact on American society, says Moynihan, if government agencies had not kept secrets from one another as a means of shoring up their power. He discusses the Bay of Pigs, Watergate, the Iran-Contra affair, and, finally, the failure to forecast the collapse of the Soviet Union, suggesting the many of the tragedies resulting from these events could have been averted had the issues been clarified in an open exchange of ideas
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 229-253) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Executive privilege (Government information) -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Official secrets -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Security classification (Government documents) -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0585349967 (electronic bk.)
9780585349961 (electronic bk.)
(alk. paper)