Joel Whitney

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Joel Whitney is the author of Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers (OR Books) and a cofounder of Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics, for which he is a recipient of the 2017 PEN/Nora Magid award for magazine editing. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic and The Paris Review. His essays in Dissent and Salon were Notables in Best American Essays 2015 and 2013. More at

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Book Reviews

A Response to Steve Slick’s Review of ‘Finks’

At the heart of Steve Slick’s September 26 review of my book Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers, lies an unstated riddle: When do democratic institutions allow themselves to censor? Slick is not exceptionally praising of my book, which is itself a critique of a secrecy regime that begins when such censorship is normalized.