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Democracy Betrayed

The Rise of the Surveillance Security State

List Price: $28.00

January 10, 2017 | Hardcover  | 6 x 9, 300 Pages  | ISBN 9781619029125
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A vital and important look at the rise of a security state that is transforming the nature of our democracy 

In the aftermath of 9/11, in lockstep with booming technological advancements, a new and more authoritarian form of governance is supplanting liberal democracy. The creation of the Security Industrial Complex– an “internal security state-within-the-state” fueled by tech companies, private security firms, and others to the tune of $120 billion a year– is intruding on civil liberties to an extent never before seen in our history. Politicians tolerate it; the average citizen at times welcomes it, thinking it is the way to keep the homeland safe in a time of uncertainty and terrorism. But how real is this threat, and is it worth the loss of our individual privacy?

As a society, the author maintains, we have yet to comprehend the meaning of universal digital connection, its impact on our psychology, and its transformation of our government and society. America is at a crossroads in contending with our overreaction to terrorism, allowing the beginnings of a police state, and the erosion of our country from a “liberal democracy” to a “secure democracy”– one where government overreaches, tramples on civil liberties, and uses increasingly advanced technology to spy on the populace. Keller walks us through what these changes can mean to our society and, more importantly, what we can do to halt our march toward intrusive and widespread surveillance.

An urgent clarion call for a country in crisis, Democracy Betrayed is a timely and deeply important book about the future of America, especially as the country orients itself to a new president in early 2017.

WILLIAM W. KELLER is a graduate of Princeton University with a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University. He served as a security analyst for the U.S. Congress for ten years, as executive director of the Center for International Studies at MIT, and as director of the Ridgway Center for International Security Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a professor of international affairs at the University of Georgia, where he directed the Center for International Trade and Security. Keller has held the highest security clearances and has written extensively about the FBI, defense technology, multinational corporations, the intelligence community, and the arms trade. He is the author or editor of six books including Myth of the Global Corporation and The Liberals and J. Edgar Hoover: Rise and Fall of a Domestic Intelligence State.


“Keller charts the growth of what he calls ‘Secure Democracy,’ a security state with the outward trappings of a free society but one that, since 9/11, has been ever more intrusive and manipulative, especially in the misrepresentation of facts concerning the dangers of terrorism . . . Keller makes a spirited case for preferring untrammeled freedom to managed and monitored safety.” —Kirkus

“William Keller’s warning bell for democracy is both frightening and clarifying. We are caught into a rare convergence of technology and terrorism—both of which are overwhelming average citizens. Keller will help us think clearly about what we are facing.” —William Greider, author of One World, Ready or Not and national correspondent for The Nation

“Keller’s book is a clarion call that democracy cannot tolerate torture at any time in any place for any reason.” —Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union

“For many years now, William W. Keller has been one of the most talented and insightful writers on questions of security and liberty, beginning with his study in the 1980s on J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI. He continues on with this marvelous new work on the rise of Big Brother in the United States. Keller writes smoothly, researches exhaustively, and cares deeply about both the factual and normative dimensions of public policy. The result in Democracy Betrayed is a book worth reading from cover-to-cover, for within its pages reside reliable information on the elusive topic of national security, along with thoughtful prescriptions on how to fight against America’s slide toward an ever intrusive surveillance society.” —Dr. Loch K. Johnson, author of A Season of Inquiry Revisited: The Church Committee Confronts America’s Spy Agencies

“Many Americans believe that they are the beneficiaries, rather than the potential victims, of government surveillance. Those who have nothing to hide, goes the saying, have nothing to fear. In this important book, William Keller shows how naive this view is. The political philosopher Thomas Hobbes observed that the purpose of knowledge is power. And, having acquired vast knowledge about us, our government us in a position to exercise vast power over us.” —Benjamin Ginsberg, author of What Washington Gets Wrong and Professor of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University

“This tightly written book [is] a useful reference for a timely topic.” —Winnipeg Free Press

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