The Burglary – book report

The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI

The BurglaryOn the night of Monday, March 8, 1971, Muhammad Ali challenged Joe Frazier for the world heavyweight championship in the Fight of the Century at Madison Square Garden in New York City. While the whole world was distracted by the fight, the Citizens Committee to Investigate the FBI broke into an FBI field office in Media, Pennsylvania.

They took every file in the office, sight unseen, and carted them off to a secluded farmhouse for review. The Committee’s purpose was to determine whether the FBI was illegally – unconstitutionally – suppressing citizens’ right to dissent. For all the group members knew, they risked everything for what may have been worthless paperwork.

Frazier beat Ali. The eight burglars were never caught. Ever. What they and, subsequently, the nation, learned was shocking. (more…)

Don’t Get Sick in America – book report

Dont-get-sick-cover“It may go on for years—efforts to put bandaids on the present system, with cost-control decrees and new arrangements for the poor, while the campaign for national health insurance gathers force. But the signs are that before too long the United States will join the rest of the civilized world in accepting the “right to health” and in making it a reality.”

Daniel Schorr’s 1970 book, Don’t Get Sick in America, ends on that optimistic note. President Nixon spoke of a “massive crisis” in health care delivery and Fortune magazine saw American medicine on “the brink of chaos.” In April 1970, CBS News aired a two-hour documentary, Health Care in America. Schorr’s book is a “more complete report on that inquiry.”

In his preface, Schorr explains the report and the book provide a look at the health industry “as perceived by the consumer, not the supplier. It is the patient more than the doctor who is in trouble. It is he, ultimately, who will require a long-overdue change in America’s healthcare system.” (more…)

Smoking Typewriters – book report

The Sixties Underground Press and the rise of Alternative Media in America

“As that old journalistic hound dog, A. J. Liebling put it, ‘Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one.’ Right-o, Amigo. And we owned one.” – Steve Diamond, Liberation News Service

Smoking TypewritersJohn McMillian’s Smoking Typewriters: –The Sixties Underground Press and the rise of Alternative Media in America, chronicles the underground press in the 1960s. McMillian, assistant professor of history at Georgia State University, also provides a look, not always intentionally, at the writers, editors and their papers through the lenses of many organizational communication themes. These include leadership, in-groups and out-groups, self-organization, organizational identification and organizational culture. And somewhere, critical theory is lurking. (more…)