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The Rising Clamor: The American Press, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Cold War

by David P. Hadley

Availablecloth$50.00x 978-0-8131-7737-3
272 pages  Pubdate: 06/14/2019  6 x 9  

The US intelligence community as it currently exists has been deeply influenced by the press. Although considered a vital overseer of intelligence activity, the press and its validity is often questioned, even by the current presidential administration. But dating back to its creation in 1947, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has benefited from relationships with members of the US press to garner public support for its activities, defend itself from its failures, and promote US interests around the world. Many reporters, editors, and publishers were willing and even eager to work with the agency, especially at the height of the Cold War.

That relationship began to change by the 1960s when the press began to challenge the CIA and expose many of its questionable activities. Respected publications went from studiously ignoring the CIA’s activities to reporting on the Bay of Pigs, CIA pacification programs in Vietnam, the CIA’s war in Laos, and its efforts to use US student groups and a variety of other non-government organizations as Cold War tools. This reporting prompted the first major congressional investigation of the CIA in December 1974.

In The Rising Clamor: The American Press, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Cold War, David P. Hadley explores the relationships that developed between the CIA and the press, its evolution over time, and its practical impact from the creation of the CIA to the first major congressional investigations of its activities in 1975–76 by the Church and Pike committees. Drawing on a combination of archival research, declassified documents, and more than 2,000 news articles, Hadley provides a balanced and considered account of the different actors in the press and CIA relationships, how their collaboration helped define public expectations of what role intelligence should play in the US government, and what an intelligence agency should be able to do.

David P. Hadley is visiting assistant professor at Ashland University and former assistant to the executive director of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. His work has previously appeared in journals such as Intelligence and National Security and Origins.

Impressively researched and lucidly written, The Rising Clamor is the best exploration to date of the relationship between the CIA, an institution devoted to secrecy , and another dedicated to transparency—the press. Hadley’s story reveals that even as it changed over time, this relationship was as symbiotic as it was adversarial. It could not be more timely. -- Richard H. Immerman, Temple University Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy

Spies and reporters both trade in secret information, a task that makes them sometimes allies and sometimes adversaries. David Hadley sheds light on the complicated relationship between the two, revealing how they clashed and cooperated during the most dangerous years of the Cold War. Packed with surprises and insights, this important book will always be timely. -- Kenneth Osgood, author of Total Cold War: Eisenhower’s Secret Propaganda Battle at Home and Abroad

The CIA’s relationship with the U.S. press during the Cold War has long been shrouded in secrecy and conspiracy theory. In the first book-length treatment of the subject, David Hadley dispels the myths and misunderstanding with sober, deeply researched, and nuanced analysis. -- Hugh Wilford, author of America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East

This is an excellent, well-researched study. It offers a compelling account of the controversial relationship between the CIA and the press, exploring the ebbs and flows in a highly nuanced manner. It is a must-read for anyone interested not just in post-1945 American history but also the democratic underpinnings of U.S. foreign policy. -- Steven Casey, author of The War Beat, Europe: The American Media at War against Nazi Germany