Nixon’s War at Home: The FBI, Leftist Guerrillas, and the Origins of Counterterrorism (forthcoming, University of North Carolina Press, Justice, Power, and Politics series, September 2021) Pre-order here.

During the presidency of Richard Nixon, homegrown leftist guerrilla groups like the Weather Underground and the Black Liberation Army carried out hundreds of attacks in the United States. The FBI had a long history of infiltrating activist groups, but this type of clandestine action posed a unique challenge. Drawing on thousands of pages of declassified FBI documents, Nixon’s War at Home shows how America’s war with domestic guerrillas prompted a host of new policing measures as the FBI revived illegal spy techniques previously used against communists in the name of fighting terrorism. These efforts did little to stop the guerrillas—instead, they led to a bureaucratic power struggle that fueled the Watergate Scandal and brought down Nixon. Yet despite their internal conflicts, FBI and White House officials developed preemptive surveillance practices that would inform U.S. counterterrorism strategies into the twenty-first century, entrenching mass surveillance as a cornerstone of the national security state.

Connecting the dots between political violence and “law and order” politics, this book reveals how counterterrorism emerged in the 1970s from violent conflicts—over racism, U.S. imperialism, and policing—that remain unresolved today.

Science for the People: Documents from America’s Movement of Radical Scientists, co-edited with Sigrid Schmalzer and Alyssa Botelho (University of Massachusetts Press, 2018)

For the first time, this book compiles original documents from Science for the People, the most important radical science movement in U.S. history. Between 1969 and 1989, Science for the People mobilized American scientists, teachers, and students to practice a socially and economically just science, rather than one that served militarism and corporate profits. Through research, writing, protest, and organizing, members sought to demystify scientific knowledge and embolden “the people” to take science and technology into their own hands. The movement’s numerous publications were crucial to the formation of science and technology studies, challenging mainstream understandings of science as “neutral” and instead showing it as inherently political. Its members, some at prominent universities, became models for politically engaged science and scholarship by using their knowledge to challenge, rather than uphold, the social, political, and economic status quo.

Highlighting Science for the People’s activism and intellectual interventions in a range of areas—including militarism, race, gender, medicine, agriculture, energy, and global affairs—this volume offers vital contributions to today’s debates on science, justice, democracy, sustainability, and political power.

Academic Journal Articles

“Teaching With the FBI’s Science for the People File,” Radical History Review 127 (January 2017): 180-185

“Rallying for Repression: Police Terror, ‘Law-and-Order’ Politics, and the Decline of Maine’s Prisoners’ Rights Movement,” The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics, and Culture 5, no. 1 (2012): 47-73

Book Reviews

Review of Jonathan Lerner, Swords in the Hands of Children: Reflections of an American Revolutionary, The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics, and Culture (February 2018)

Review of Arthur M. Eckstein, Bad Moon Rising: How the Weather Underground Beat the FBI and Lost the Revolution, Journal of American History 104, no. 3 (2017), 817-818.