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[Past Event] Informants: Out of the Shadows

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Course Description:

While movies and television like to focus on the gadgetry and savvy of law enforcement in chasing their adversaries, the more pervasive instrument utilized – operating in the shadows – has been the informant. This is especially true for agencies like the FBI which has historically pursued political adversaries. This two-part course will profile the way spies and infiltrators have been dispatched against everyone from Karl Marx, to U.S. Communists, to the radicals of the Sixties and Seventies. Using archival documents, unique material obtained through Freedom of Information filings, and cultural artifacts and music to animate this past, we'll pull back the blinds on informants and their impact on historical events.


Tuition: $25.00

Additional Fees: $0.00

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Tuesday/Thursday, Sept. 1, 3 *1:00-2:30pm* (2 sessions)


We'll meet online via Zoom. Zoom is free and easy to use. OLLI will walk you through the steps. Prior to each Zoom meeting (class), you will receive an email with specific details on that meeting.


Aaron J. Leonard is the author of "Heavy Radicals: The FBI's Secret War on America's Maoists" and "A Threat of the First Magnitude––FBI Counterintelligence & Infiltration." His current book, "The Folk Singers & the Bureau" ––which historian Ronald D. Cohen has called "A groundbreaking approach to the post-World War II destructive Red Scare" ––will be published in September.