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The Great Taboo

September 3, 2012

Under the title of “The History We Don’t Know,” Billy Cox of the Herald Tribune has reviewed our new book, UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry by Michael Swords, Robert Powell, et al. Cox notes that Swords, the primary author, “has drilled deep into the vein of primary sources and—along with eight co-authors and contributors—produced an authoritative look at the high-level disarray, inter-agency tensions, and the military’s improvisational attempts at information management even as honest scientists struggled to give them the truth.” While it’s not the first book of its kind, it is in many ways unique. “What separates this accounting from its predecessors are the details harvested from obscure archived material and FOIAs, all of them channeled into a cogent narrative arc that reads like an epic tragedy.” In three additional articles “The Best Minds of My Generation,”  “A Furtive Glimpse of Candor,” and “? + $$ = Science,” Cox goes on to mine the book for episodes that allow him to comment on the current quagmire. In one he notes that Swords “has long been frustrated by history’s gatekeepers, their aversion to rendering the complete story of postwar America as UFOs zig-zagged through the early stages of the Cold War. The Western Michigan University emeritus professor says UFOs and Government’s mission statement is to plug that gap as a reference book.” According to Cox, Swords and company have succeeded:  “UFOs and Government belongs on those history shelves… this book offers a glimpse into the largely forgotten world that put us in the vacuum that cripples us today.” Unlike in this summary, Cox doesn’t wait until the end of his review to let you know what he thinks of the book—in the very first sentence, he calls it “The most important book on the origins of our current policy on The Great Taboo …”