'The Watergate affair makes it quite plain,' Marshall Mcluhan wrote in 1974, 'that the entire planet has become a whispering gallery, with a large portion of mankind engaged in making its living by keeping the rest of mankind under surveillance.
The paranoid style exemplified by Nixon and Wilson - and Madame Mao and Harry Caul, Idi Amin and Bobby Fischer, the Rev. Jim Jones and the Baader-Meinhof gang, Taxi Driver and Gravitiy's Rainbow - saturated the 1970s. Conservatives feared that the very fabric of the state was under imminent threat - whether from Communists, gays, dope-smokers or even rock stars. (Elvis Presley warned Nixon that the Beatles had been 'a real force for anti-American spirit'; John Lennon was duly added to the President's 'enemies' list' and put under surveillance by the FBI.) In Britain, retired generals formed private armies to save the country from anarchy, industrial moguls plotted coups against the government and malcontents in the security services bugged and burgled their way across London in a quest for proof that the Prime Minister was employed by the KGB.
... to do with chess Index