POLITICAL SCIENCE

Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare

Farrar. Apr. 2020. 528p. ISBN 9780374287269. $30. POL SCI
COPY ISBN
With this latest work, Rid (strategic studies, Johns Hopkins Univ.; Rise of the Machines) offers a history of the political control of information, usually in the form of disinformation. He includes several historical examples from the “information war” between the former USSR and the United States, and then moves into more recent examples of using information as a weapon by figures such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. The work spans from the time period between the world wars to the present, including illuminating examples from the German effort for information control during World War II. Later, Rid asserts that the rise of the internet and information being leaked and published by groups such as Anonymous and Wikileaks shows a change in the landscape and the context of politics itself. Covering a lot of ground in this dense but thorough account, Rid further includes primary sources that brilliantly show how “information wars” have been waged throughout history.
VERDICT A fascinating read for those who appreciate learning about history within a complex political context.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month