Columbia University Press has published Whistleblowing Nation: The History of National Security Disclosures and the Cult of State Secrecy (2021), edited by Kaeten Mistry (University of East Anglia) and Hannah Gurman (New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Study). A description from the Press:
The twenty-first century witnessed a new age of whistleblowing in the United States. Disclosures by Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and others have stoked heated public debates about the ethics of exposing institutional secrets, with roots in a longer history of state insiders revealing privileged information. Bringing together contributors from a range of disciplines to consider political, legal, and cultural dimensions, Whistleblowing Nation is a pathbreaking history of national security disclosures and state secrecy from World War I to the present.
The contributors explore the complex politics, motives, and ideologies behind the revelation of state secrets that threaten the status quo, challenging reductive characterizations of whistleblowers as heroes or traitors. They examine the dynamics of state retaliation, political backlash, and civic contests over the legitimacy and significance of the exposure and the whistleblower. The volume considers the growing power of the executive branch and its consequences for First Amendment rights, the protection and prosecution of whistleblowers, and the rise of vast classification and censorship regimes within the national-security state. Featuring analyses from leading historians, literary scholars, legal experts, and political scientists, Whistleblowing Nation sheds new light on the tension of secrecy and transparency, security and civil liberties, and the politics of truth and falsehood.
As Kaeten Mistry and Hannah Gurman demonstrate in this brilliant and compelling collection, the fates of national security whistleblowing and democracy are linked. These sharply written essays examine the characteristics of whistleblowers, the way secrecy and whistleblowing have changed over time, the interests at stake when the government prosecutes whistleblowers, and much more. Whistleblowing Nation is essential reading on the tensions between government secrecy and the transparency essential in a democracy. -- Mary L. Dudziak
H/t New Books in Law, where you can find an interview with the editors.
-- Karen Tani