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Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files Paperback – January 21, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0520222465 ISBN-10: 0520222466 Edition: 0th
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In 1971, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover started a surveillance of former Beatle John Lennon, who was believed to be a threat to national security. Lennon was active in leading a campaign to get younger people registered to vote against the Vietnam War, which was equated with voting against the reelection of Nixon. Wiener (history, Univ. of California, Irvine; Come Together: John Lennon and His Time) was engaged in a 14-year court battle to secure the Lennon files under The Freedom of Information Act. This book is filled with excerpts of these formerly classified documents, which reveal the idiocy of the type of information that was kept on Lennon. In many cases, these "secrets" were a matter of public knowledge and were very mundane. Wiener is to be commended for fighting the government's undemocratic use of power, but, unfortunately, his book is often dull and is only recommended for specialized collections in criminology.ATim Delaney, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"An excellent account."--"Portland Oregonian

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (January 21, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520222466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520222465
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #726,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Downey on June 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
First a simple test. To whom was FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover referring when he wrote to President Nixon's Chief of Staff, H.R. Haldeman, "[He is]...a paradox because he is difficult to judge by the normal standards of civilized life....His main reason for being is to destroy, blindly and indiscriminately, to tear down and provoke chaos...."? Adolf Hitler maybe, or some seminal Osama bin-Laden? Of course not, as you already know it was none other than our friendly, pudgy-faced, mop-headed, evil genius, that heinous John Lennon, composer of such bellicose anthems as "Imagine" and "Give Peace a Chance." Reason enough to warrant the FBI's surveillance of the man for 24 hours a day, for years on end? Well, not really, but they did it anyway. This book details the efforts by the author, Jon Wiener, and two ACLU attorneys, Mark Rosenbaum and Dan Marmalefsky, to obtain the 200 odd pages of documents held by the FBI on Mr. Lennon, that the agency had refused to release, (typically on grounds of either national security or ostensibly to protect confidential sources). To this end the attorneys employed the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) as their basis to obtain these documents. The run-around that they were given by the government should be nothing new to students of previous such encounters, and the fact that it took 15 years to achieve it should not prove too surprising either. But without doubt the central point of this book, and one that cannot be overemphasized, is that it was the FBI (acting outside of its own charter and the explicit instructions contained in the FOIA) that violated the law, while finding no criminal activity on the part of Mr. Lennon.Read more ›
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J. CROSBY on October 18, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It did bring me back "...to those thrilling day's of yesteryear." I was 18 and in the Army in 1972. I have forgoten most of the events unfolding that year, and this book brought back those scene's, as well as the THEN famous people who are just "faded memories" now. John and Yoko, Abby and Jerry, The other Chicago seven members, all of them are here and live again in these declassified FBI files. You would think some of the printed report's on the coming's and going's of the counter-culture leaders were written by old busy-bodies. Most documents are just plain nonsense and gossip. Why the Government tried to supress these for so long is a wonder. I would like to know what the British sent over to the FBI in the way of documents. These are shown to the reader as still being blacked out, and some dated beyond the date the FBI stopped watching Lennon's movements. A well done book by the Prof. and well worth the time if you like to read book's of a more political theme. Not for the four mop top's type of Beatle's fan. If you lived through the Day's of rage and wish to take a walk down those paranoid paths of the Hippie era then buy this book (I did not say "Steal This Book.")
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