Secrecy and Democracy: The History of the FBI and CIA | National Humanities Center

Humanities in Class: Webinar Series

Secrecy and Democracy: The History of the FBI and CIA

Law Enforcement; Intelligence Agencies; American History; United States Government

Kathryn Olmstead (Professor of History, University of California, Davis)

March 15, 2018

Many Americans are fascinated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), but we know very little about their histories. This webinar will use recently declassified documents to analyze the histories of both agencies and of the controversies that they’ve inspired. What were the original purposes of each agency, and how have they changed over time? How did Americans learn about some of the most controversial programs (illegal surveillance by the FBI, assassination plots and drug testing by the CIA), and how did they react to these revelations? We will talk about how these real historical events help us understand the challenges of making sure America’s secret agencies are accountable to the public.


History / Law Enforcement / Intelligence Agencies / American History / United States Government /