The Unsleeping Eye: Secret Police and Their Victims

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Encounter Books, 2003 - History - 367 pages
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"While there are many books about espionage, until now very little has been written about the history of secret policing, which played such a grim role in the totalitarian movements of the twentieth century." "Robert J. Stove begins his story of how secret police became a central institution of modern life with Sir Francis Walsingham, spymaster to Elizabeth I of England who created a network of secret agents and assassins to subvert the queen's Catholic opponents. He concludes with a portrait of J. Edgar Hoover, whose surveillance of "enemies within" put American democracy to the test." "At the heart of The Unsleeping Eye is a provocative account of how secret police helped to build and sustain the modern totalitarian state. Joseph Fouche, Napoleon's minister of police, made surveillance and informing into an art form and coupled spying with propaganda techniques that made it doubly effective. Stove chronicles the development of domestic surveillance in Russia, from the time of Ivan the Terrible to its final refinement under Stalin, who brought Lenin's ideal of "organized terror" to perfection in collaboration with his brutal head of secret police, Lavrenti Beria. He also shows how the Gestapo and other police organizations led by demented individuals like Heinrich Himmler defined the essence of Nazism, part of which was Himmler's deluded notion that "the members of the Gestapo are men with human kindness, human hearts, and absolute rightness."" "The inside story of the secret policemen who defined the state of their art, The Unsleeping Eye takes us into the darkest corners of government. It is a narrative filled with forceful personalities and unsettling anecdotes, which leaves us wondering about the brave new worlds of manipulation and terror that may await us."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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The unsleeping eye: secret police and their victims

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In his analysis of five eras in which"secret policing has been of vital importance to government," Australian writer Stove (Prince of Music) sheds new light on the intrigues of the major"spymasters ... Read full review

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User Review  - The American Conservative - Goodreads

'Given 20th-century scholarship's interest in all things totalitarian, it is more than a bit surprising that there exists no general survey of one of modern tyranny's pivotal institutions: the secret ... Read full review



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About the author (2003)

Stove is the author of Prince of Music, a study of the 16th century composer Palestrina.

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