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New Street to Publish Pete Seeger FBI Surveillance Files
Publisher to Issue Crowd-Funded Facsimle Edition of FBI Documents, With Additional Commentary, Covering the Years 1967-1971
J. Edgar Hoover's FBI kept the musician/activist under close observation (and continual harassment) for many years, commencing before World War II (with its investigations of the Almanac Singers and related organizations)
Of some 1,800 pages of recently released FBI files, the Bureau's surveillance summaries related to the late 1960s - during which period Seeger was deeply involved with the anti-war movement and various other left-wing causes, not the least the fledgling environmental movement – are of special interest.
These FBI reports unwittingly reveal the rather absurd preoccupation of Hoover and his minions with regard to Seeger, his family, and his milieu ... not to mention the Constitutionally questionable nature of the exercise. At the same time, however, they provide a vivid chronicle of this fascinating era from the uniquely paranoid point-of-view of an organization which believed not only Seeger but also such personages as Lauren Bacall, James Baldwin, and John Lennon bore watching.
In these pages we get the Bureau's “take” on Seeger's support for the “Fort Hood Three” (three servicemen who refused orders to go to Vietnam) … his cooperation with the Catholic Peace Fellowship, SDS, the United Farm Workers, and other organizations … his appearances at such events as the W.E.B. DuBois Centennial Celebration at Carnegie Hall and memorial gatherings for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg … his being named the honorary Chairperson of Earth Day-New York in 1970 … his visits to Cuba and thence Franco's Spain in 1971 along with daughter Mika and others … and much more.
In sum, the files provide an invaluable record which tell us as much about the observers as they do about the observed, and the times in which they moved.
Indiegogo Crowd-Funding Campaign
Reproducing full facsimiles of the Bureau's actual typewritten and handwritten documents is an expensive proposition for which the press seeks help in the way of sharply discounted prepaid orders. For details on the crowd-funding campaign please visit https://www.indiegogo.com/