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Racial Matters

The FBI's Secret File on Black America, 1960-1972

Author of Black Americans and Nixon's Piano Kenneth O'Reilly takes a blunt and remarkable look at the FBI and "its relentless drive to destroy the civil rights movement and its most visible leader, Martin Luther King, Jr." (The New York Times).

From Kennedy to Nixon, the FBI unwillingly found itself at the center of the struggle for racial equality and justice. Kenneth O'Reilly tells the shocking story of how political loyalties, priorities, and prejudices turned a government agency into an adversary, instead of a protector, of civil rights.

Kenneth O'Reilly is a professor and author of several books, including Nixon’s Piano: Presidents and Racial Politics from Washington to ClintonRacial Matters: The FBI’s Secret File on Black AmericaBlack Americans: The FBI File; and Hoover and the Un-Americans: The FBI, HUAC, and the Red Menace. Racial Matters was a New York Times notable book of the year. He is emeritus professor of history at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and now teaches at Milwaukee Area Technical College. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.