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Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files
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Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files

3.06 of 5 stars 3.06  ·  rating details  ·  31 ratings  ·  5 reviews
When FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover reported to the Nixon White House in 1972 about the Bureau's surveillance of John Lennon, he began by explaining that Lennon was a "former member of the Beatles singing group." When a copy of this letter arrived in response to Jon Wiener's 1981 Freedom of Information request, the entire text was withheld—along with almost 200 other pages—o ...more
Paperback, 344 pages
Published January 21st 2000 by University of California Press (first published December 22nd 1999)
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Pete daPixie
I can only recommend this book to total 'anoraks' like me! The old maxim of 'don't judge a book by it's cover' is very relevant here. I haven't paid any attention to other Goodreads reviews and wouldn't be at all surprised at one or two star ratings.
However, I think this book is important and very revealing. It's author Jon Wiener is Professor of History at the University of California. His book documents his FOURTEEN year litigation struggle with the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act. If
...more
Bunny
I am blown away by how boring this book is. Because it shouldn't be boring.

The FBI has an entire 200+ document file on John Lennon. This has to be huge. He had to have been smuggling in weapons of mass destruction. Or dealing crack to babies. Regularly peeing on the Alamo?

No? It's 200+ documents full of nothing? Really? The most interesting thing in the file is the damn parrot story?

Color me naive, but I would assume that anything the FBI would fight 14 years to keep confidential would actually
...more
Anne-Marie
Apr 26, 2013 Anne-Marie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history nerds, beatles fans, hoover and nixon haters
Recommended to Anne-Marie by: scheiber
I read this for my research paper (well... not the whole thing. I picked out the relevant bits.) It's all about the time that the FBI spied on John Lennon and was generally being corrupt and trying to suppress anti-war youth movements. It's interesting to an extent, but eventually this book gets too long and exhaustive. There are literally over 200 different file pages that were released by the FBI that are related to the case, and only about 9 or 10 of them contain anything that's actually inte ...more
L.
The story of Wiener's FOIA request on the FBI's investigation into John Lennon's "communist" (et al.) activities of the 70s. I skipped most of the story of the court cases to get right to the actual censored documents. Reads a lot like a transcript of junior high; a lot of "he said," and "she said," lots of gossip & flat-out wrong information, and a lot of what is factual is stupid, minor stuff. It's scary enough that this kind of thing is going on, but it's even scarier to think that someon ...more
Stephanie
Dec 27, 2007 Stephanie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lennon fans who are also interested in FOIA
It's more about the legal case filed in order to get the file than about John Lennon himself, but if you happen to be interested in applying the Freedom of Information Act to unlock the secret FBI files of a major rock star, then this may be the book for you. There is also a very funny story about a parrot.
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