10 thoughts on “c. wright mills’ fbi file”

  1. Really interesting. It’s easy to be amused from a contemporary viewpoint but the degree of earnest paranoia (which has echoes these days, certainly) is also scary.

    I guess that’s why we should be happy that the debate described “terminated finally in a soothing commercial” (p. 5).


  2. “The subject told informant that MILLS had informed her that he would publish a booklet entitled, “Sociological Imagination” about 15 May, 1959. He added, however, that his work is not progressing because American foundations are not generous with their money. Subject stated MILLS claimed that since he published his book, “Power Elite,” the foundation people did not like him.”


  3. Like Andy, I’m shocked at how the people reporting on Mills were either (1) his friends with whom he was clearly having frank discussions, or (2) people who just heard about him at a talk or in a newspaper. I wonder how many people today write unsolicited notes to the FBI about their fellow citizens? From Mills’ file it seems like back in the 50s and 60s it was a non-trivial number. Of course I “knew” this… but it’s interest to see it in an actual file. I might start looking for other files of sociologists. Could be fun to see what else is out there. Suggestions for other FOI requests?


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