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Blank Spots on the Map


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About the Author

Trevor Paglen, Ph.D., has published numerous research papers in academic journals and his writing has appeared in The Village Voice and The San Francisco Bay Guardian. He is the author of I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me and Torture Taxi. He is also an internationally recognized artist who exhibits frequently in major galleries and museums around the world. He lives in Berkeley, California.


As in his previous books, artist and geographer Paglen (Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIA's Rendition Flights) explores the clandestine activities of the U.S. military and the CIA, giving readers a thorough and provocative tour of places that officially do not exist. Paglen has a brisk reporting style and is an engaging storyteller. His journey into what he calls the "black world" of classified locations-from research facilities to secret prisons-this time takes him across the country and around the world. The classified region he describes is shockingly vast, well funded, and not accountable for its activities. At times, Paglen has a subtle touch, allowing the facts he describes gradually to convince the reader of how essentially undemocratic all this secrecy is. Unfortunately, his approach at other times seems unnecessarily theatrical. For example, his description of camping out in a hotel room in Las Vegas to watch planes come and go comes off as a bit gimmicky. Such narrative is likely meant to make the book more readable, but the story Paglen is telling is gripping enough without any stunts. Highly recommended.-Rachel Bridgewater, Reed Coll., OR Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

aTrevor Paglen set out to map the darkest corners of the U. S. national security apparatus. Heas done that and more. The result is a fascinating, deeply troubling, and absolutely essential book.a
aAndrew J. Bacevich, professor in international relations at Boston University, retired colonel in the US Army, and author of "The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism"
aTrevor Paglen gets into the black heart of Americaas black sites. There is no better guide to this great American mystery. What goes on inside these bases will determine the future of warfareaand who we areafor the rest of the century.a
aRobert Baer, former case officer at the CIA and author of "See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIAas War on Terrorism"
a"Blank Spots" is an important, well-researched, and insightful expose that opens a window into the black world of secret operations. Paglenas conclusion that aour own history, in large part, has become a state secreta is both a warning and a call to arms. It is time to heed the warning and take up arms.a
aJohn Perkins, author of "Confessions of an Economic Hitman"
aA chillingly literal tour de force. Paglen doesnat so much fill in the blanks as trace their outlines and give their shifting shapes a density that says as much about the future of democracy as it does about the dismal confines of the black world.a
aDerek Gregory, Professor of Geography, University of British Columbia
aLiving among us is an entire shadow industry of secret careers, unmarked flights, and razor-wired compounds evoking stereotyped images of the Cold-War Soviet Union. In what is still the world's most open society, Paglen adroitlyexposes this dark geography. His book is fascinating and necessary.a
aLaurence Smith, Professor of Geography, University of California Los Angeles
aSome of the worst crimes in the American landscape are hiding in plain sight, and nobody has ever pursued them more thoroughly or explained them more chillingly and engagingly than Trevor Paglen. What he is doing is important, fascinating, and groundbreaking.a
aRebecca Solnit, National Book Critics Circle Award Winner and author of "Wanderlust"

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