Readings 2020: Thomas Rid (2020). Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare
In 2020 I committed to writing short thoughts on my readings.
Today, it’s Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare (2020) by Thomas Rid.
Active measures is both a timely and time-lasting book. It is timely, as it contextualises the current-day use of disinformation targeted at societies. It is time-lasting, as it is a history, covering the use of disinformation chronologically throughout the 20th century up to the present day. It is a well-written and interesting read, telling its stories in 31 numbered chapters (+introduction&conclusion).
According to the introduction, Rid wants to make three main arguments. 1. conceptually, disinformation campaigns target the liberal epistemic order; 2. historically, the book wants to investigate the moral equivalence argument (i.e. did the West engage in such operations? why did the CIA retreat from...
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