Karen J. Greenberg joins Princeton University historian and author Julian E. Zelizer in conversation about her new book, "Subtle Tools." This program will be held via Crowdcast. To register, click here.
From the publisher: "In the wake of the September 11 terror attacks, the American government implemented a wave of overt policies to fight the nation’s enemies. Unseen and undetected by the public, however, another set of tools were brought to bear on the domestic front. In this riveting book, one of today’s leading experts on the US security state shows how these 'subtle tools' imperiled the very foundations of democracy, from the separation of powers and transparency in government to adherence to the Constitution.
Taking readers from Ground Zero to the Capitol Insurrection, Karen Greenberg describes the subtle tools that were forged under George W. Bush in the name of security: imprecise language, bureaucratic confusion, secrecy, and the bypassing of procedural and legal norms. While the power and legacy of these tools lasted into the Obama years, reliance on them increased exponentially in the Trump era, both in the fight against terrorism abroad and in battles closer to home. Greenberg discusses how the Trump administration weaponized these tools to separate families at the border, suppress Black Lives Matter protests, and attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Revealing the deeper consequences of the war on terror, 'Subtle Tools 'paints a troubling portrait of an increasingly undemocratic America where disinformation, xenophobia, and disdain for the law became the new norm, and where the subtle tools of national security threatened democracy itself."
Karen J. Greenberg is Director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law, an international studies fellow at New America, and a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Her books include "Rogue Justice: The Making of the Security State" and "The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo’s First 100 Days."
Julian E. Zelizer is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University and a CNN Political Analyst and a regular guest on NPR’s "Here and Now." He is the author and editor of 22 books including, "Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, The Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party" (Penguin Press). The New York Times named the book as an Editor's Choice and one of the 100 Notable Books in 2020. His new book is "Abraham Joshua Heschel: A Life of Radical Amazement" (Yale University Press).
Presented in partnership with Princeton University Press and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this programming do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.