Synopses & Reviews
In The Book of Honor
, Ted Gup uncovered some of the CIA's closest-held secrets: the names and stories of the seventy-one undercover operatives who were killed in the line of duty. Now he turns his attention to a broader range of American institutions, exposing how and why they keep secrets from the very people they are supposed to serve. Drawing on original reporting and startling analysis, Gup argues that a preoccupation with secrets has undermined the very valuessecurity, patriotism, privacy, the national interestin whose name secrecy is so often invoked.
Gup shows how the expanding thicket of classified information leads to the devaluation of the secrets we most need to keep, and that journalists have become pawns in the governments internal conflicts over access to information. He explores the blatant exploitation of privacy and confidentiality in academia, business, and the courts, and concludes that in case after case, these principles have been twisted to allow the emergence of a shadow system of justice, unaccountable to the public.
Drawing on Gup's decades of work as an investigative reporter, NATION OF SECRETS will shake our faith in some of our most trusted institutions, piercing the veil of secrecy to reveal an alarming new threat to democracy in America. Gup presents a vision radical in its clarity, conservative in its roots, of a country teetering on the brink of losing its identity.
"In this probing expos, Washington Post investigative reporter Gup (The Book of Honor) surveys the post-9/11 mania for secrecy, focusing on the ubiquitous classification of routine information, the gutting of the Freedom of Information Act and the persecution of whistle-blowers. The government, he notes, is busy reclassifying information that has been in the public domain for decades, and a Pentagon report criticizing excessive secrecy was stamped Top Secret. It's all part of a national obsession with confidentiality, Gup argues, that afflicts corporations, universities and the press itself, whose reliance on unnamed sources corrupts and misleads its reporting. Gup's muckraking sometimes misfires (he reports on an intelligence operative who either murdered two other agents or was pulling his leg), and he ups the anxiety by conflating government secrecy with surveillance and wire-tapping programs. Democracy seems more gummed up than actually threatened by the problems he spotlights, such as the concealment of crimes, defective products and corporate chicanery, gossip replacing verifiable news, government pursuit of misguided policies based on secret information rather than public information that can be checked and debated. Still, this is a cogent critique of a tight-lipped America that is increasingly paranoid, dysfunctional and absurd. (June 5)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In this follow-up to "The Book of Honor," Gup exposes how and why American institutions keep secrets from the very people they are supposed to serve. He argues that a preoccupation with secrets has undermined the very values in whose name secrecy is so often invoked.
About the Author
TED GUP is an investigative reporter who has been a staff writer for the Washington Post and a correspondent at Time magazine. He is the author of The Book of Honor and the recipient of a George Polk Award and a Worth Bingham Prize. A professor of journalism at Case Western Reserve University, he lives in Pepper Pike, Ohio.