The Burglary that Revealed J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI

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Betty Medsger tells the full story of a group of unlikely activists who broke into an FBI office outside Philadelphia to steal files, which they sent to journalists and members of Congress. Those files revealed J. Edgar Hoover’s “secret counterintelligence program” COINTELPRO, set up in 1956 to investigate and disrupt dissident political groups in the United States, many of them legal civil rights organizations and antiwar groups that Hoover found offensive—as well as black power groups, student activists, antidraft protestors, conscientious objectors. In The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI Medsger gives a full account of the break in and how it changed the FBI and the country.