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Secret Service: Political Policing in Canada From the Fenians to Fortress America
     

Secret Service: Political Policing in Canada From the Fenians to Fortress America

by Reg Whitaker
 

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Secret Service provides the first comprehensive history of political policing in Canada – from its beginnings in the mid-nineteenth century, through two world wars and the Cold War to the more recent 'war on terror.' This book reveals the extent, focus, and politics of government-sponsored surveillance and intelligence-gathering

Overview

Secret Service provides the first comprehensive history of political policing in Canada – from its beginnings in the mid-nineteenth century, through two world wars and the Cold War to the more recent 'war on terror.' This book reveals the extent, focus, and politics of government-sponsored surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations.

Drawing on previously classified government records, the authors reveal that for over 150 years, Canada has run spy operations largely hidden from public or parliamentary scrutiny – complete with undercover agents, secret sources, agent provocateurs, coded communications, elaborate files, and all the usual apparatus of deception and betrayal so familiar to fans of spy fiction. As they argue, what makes Canada unique among Western countries is its insistent focus of its surveillance inwards, and usually against Canadian citizens.

Secret Service highlights the many tensions that arise when undercover police and their covert methods are deployed too freely in a liberal democratic society. It will prove invaluable to readers attuned to contemporary debates about policing, national security, and civil rights in a post-9/11 world.

Editorial Reviews

Canadian Historical Review, vol 94:01:2013 - Dennis Molinaro
‘Secret Service provides an excellent overview of how Canada’s security service engaged in the political policing of its citizens over the course of Canadian History… It serves as one of the most complete studies ever produced on the topic.’
Literary Review of Canada vol 21:04:2013 - Jez Littlewood
‘An excellent history… Deeply scholarly yet refreshing unacademic in its tone and temper, the text bridges with considerable skill the requirements of rigorous, measured analysis of a wide variety of sources that is inherent in good history… The book deserves to be widely read.’

Law and History Review, May 2014 - Kent Roach
‘This book, rich in both detail and analysis, is the definitive source on political policing in Canada. It should be of interest to all those interested in Canadian history as well as to specialists in the history of policing and intelligence.’
BC Studies number 182: summer 2014 - Jeremy Buddenhagen
‘This is a must read for anyone interested in intelligence in Canada… It is also a very important study for those interested in how the boundaries of race, class, gender, and difference were coercively enforced by a secret state within the state.’
Canadian Military History vol 24:02:2015 - Curtis Robinson
'Secret Service provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution of Canada's capabilities and objectives in political policing... The information is presented in a refreshingly jargon-free manner.'

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442662384
Publisher:
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date:
07/06/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
720
File size:
3 MB

What People are Saying About This

Wesley Wark
‘This premier, authoritative guide to Canadian security intelligence from the 1860s to 2010 attains a rare degree of excellence in scholarship. Representing the fruit of decades of research, Secret Service brings a wealth of material together for the first time and demonstrates the authors' impressive collective grasp of the history of Canadian security intelligence. Among this book's undoubted highlights are the best-ever treatments to appear of the Air India disaster, the RCMP's role in the Quebec crisis, and the Mackenzie and McDonald Commissions; as well as its analysis Canadian security practices after 9/11. Secret Service will stand as a reference source of inestimable value for years to come.’

Meet the Author

Reginald Whitaker is a professor of Political Science, York University.

Greg Kealey is Provost, Vice-President Research, and a professor in the Department of History at the University of New Brunswick.

Andrew Parnaby is an assistant professor in the Department of History at Cape Breton University.

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