Magazine article New Internationalist

The History Thieves

Magazine article New Internationalist

The History Thieves

Article excerpt

The History Thieves by Ian Cobain (Portobello Books, ISBN 978! 84627583 8)

It is said that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. But what if you never knew about it in the first place? The latest book by investigative journalist Ian Cobain sets about uncovering some of the British government's dirty secrets - from a string of hushed-up wars to the mass surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden - and the elaborate architecture used to keep them hidden.

Cobain's easy prose turns potentially dry subject matter into an intriguing set of stories. They track the development of the British pathology of concealment from early statutes to the present day, bolstering his premise: official secrecy in Britain goes far beyond what is required for safe government. …

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