Active Measures
A review of

Active Measures

The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare

Thomas RidFSG • 2020

Disinformation Across the Decades

by David Meyer

Thomas Rid, who specializes in information security, provides a comprehensive, cautionary history of governments and private citizens using disinformation to disrupt nation states, political movements and free elections.

Thomas Rid, professor of information security at Johns Hopkins University, tells how digital disinformation abounds as bad actors exacerbate political differences and undermine trust. In this gripping account, Rid charts the rise of disinformation as political warfare after World War I and its evolution during the Cold War. In the 21st century, Rid notes, digital technologies and the internet transformed disinformation, threatening liberal democracy worldwide. Among Rid’s most startling themes is that Russian disinformation attacks against the United States have been going on for decades.

Among many other positive reviews, this work garnered mention as one of The Washington Post’s 50 Notable Books of Nonfiction and as a Best Book of the Year by The New Statesman. Rid’s engrossing style raises this from political history to engrossing, cautionary thriller.


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