THE CHANCELLOR MANUSCRIPT (1977) – With the latest blatant abuses by the FBI and elsewhere coming to light here’s Robert Ludlum’s novel about abuse of intelligence-gathering by BOTH the left and the right. There are Deep State operatives, too, like in today’s headlines.
TIME PERIOD: From shortly before J Edgar Hoover’s death in 1972 up to early 1973. The novel’s “what if” premise depicts the 77 year old FBI Director’s death as a planned assassination to prevent the Nixon White House from getting ahold of Hoover’s legendary files. (That’s NOT a spoiler – all that is made clear in the novel’s opening pages.)
Those files contain so much “raw meat” on powerful U.S. figures that we readers are told that whoever takes hold of said files will be able to rule the U.S. from behind the scenes by blackmailing the rich and the powerful.
The novel’s naïvete shows in that premise. I despise Hoover but I’ve always considered his abuses to be the EPITOME of the behavior of “the intelligence community” (LMAO), not an aberration from it. The accumulation of private information about people carries with it the implicit intent to USE that information against them.
The Obama Administration abused the FBI and other organizations far beyond even Nixon’s corrupt activities. And, of course, these days Zuckerberg and his fellow Corporate Fascists cheerfully help “the intelligence community” (LMFAO) spy on all of us.
At any rate this is an escapist novel so the tale gets told in a simplistic “good guys vs bad guys” way, despite Ludlum’s attempts at a more nuanced approach.
HERO: Peter Chancellor, an up and coming novelist who is part muckraker and part conspiracy hound. His successful espionage novels have not only made him rich but have caused minor public uproars over the kind of governmental abuses we take for granted these days but which were considered shocking in this novel’s time period. Continue reading