30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

“The editors, from the National Security Archive and the Cold War International History Project – organizations whose continuing publications have provided essential insights into the recurring crises of the Communist system from the l940s until its collapse by l991 – have assembled a series of sources that demonstrate the true depth and amplitude of the East German uprising of June 16-17, 1953.”

- Charles Maier, Harvard University, on the book Uprising in East Germany, 1953

“I have compiled this list with the assistance of researchers at the indispensable National Security Archive, a non-profit group that has published more than half a million government documents.”

- Michael Dobbs, The Washington Post (2007)

“The ‘nuclear vault’ is the informal name given to a division of the privately funded National Security [Archive], now housed in the library of George Washington University on H Street.  The [Archive],  founded two decades ago, has devoted itself to getting millions of pages of top secret, classified national security documents declassified, primarily through the Freedom of Information Act.  The nuclear vault, the repository for an astonishing compilation of confidential declassified discussions about the bomb, has been presided over for two decades by Dr. William Burr, another Yoda of FOIA, using that legislative tool like a light-saber to cut through the fog of secrecy that surrounds nuclear weapons and nuclear war strategy.”

- Ron Rosenbaum, author (2011)

“President Nixon’s historic 1972 trip to China was one of the greatest diplomatic coups in history.  This heavily-researched documentary reveals an unknown story behind the one most journalists and historians think they know.  To tell it, the producers had to find, sift, evaluate and codify thousands of declassified documents, both from the U.S. government and the secretive Chinese government too.  Working in cooperation with the National Security Archive, the program’s researchers brought dry government files to life, revealing details that would have rattled the world at the time ... ”

- Emmy Award Citation (2005)

Politics of Illusion reads like a novel – and I devoured it as quickly as I might a Le Carre …. It must have been an amazing experience for the participants.” 

- Frances FitzGerald, on Politics of Illusion (1998)

“LeoGrande and Kornbluh's exhaustive and masterful diplomatic history [Back Channel to Cuba] will stand as the most authoritative account of U.S.-Cuban diplomatic relations during the five decades of Cuban President Fidel Castro's rule.”

- Foreign Affairs (2015)

“By seeking greater government openness and accountability in one of the most sensitive areas of U.S. national security policy, the National Security Archive epitomizes the very activities that make up the life blood of democracy.”  

- Robert S. Norris, Natural Resources Defense Council

“This excellent collection of documents pulls together what’s been learned about this event since the Cold War did in fact end … in a manner foreshadowed by what had happened in 1953.  It is an indispensable new source for the study of Cold War history.”

- John Lewis Gaddis, Yale University, on Uprising in East Germany 1953

“[Critical oral history architect James] Blight has made a ‘massive and uniquely valuable contribution’ to the historical literature.”

- Philip D. Zelikow, former State Department Counselor and National Security Council staff member (2002)

“I and all of my serious colleagues in the field of nuclear studies depend heavily on the astonishing work of the National Security Archive.  Bill Burr and company perform an indispensable service to our community by unpacking the legacy of the Cold War with vital documentation and historical interpretation, much of which is invaluable for understanding the present and future as well as the past.  The Nuclear Vault is a treasure-trove, and the intrepid organization that created and maintains it is a national treasure without which the field of nuclear studies and policy analysis would be impoverished.  It is absolutely vital to support the collection and analysis work at the Archive.”

- Bruce G. Blair, President, World Security Institute

“Using self-promotional claims from a product web site as a way to sum up the sense of its value should be avoided, but in this instance they are pretty accurate and worth noting: “In its totality, the DNSA offers the most effective research and teaching tool available in the area of U.S. foreign policy, intelligence, and security issues during this pivotal period of 20th century history, and into the 21st century.”

- Gail Golderman & Bruce Connolly, reviewing the Digital National Security Archive (DNSA) in netConnect (2008)

“Challenging the prevailing narrative of U.S.-Cuba relations, this book investigates the history of the secret, and often surprising, dialogue between Washington and Havana ... Suggest[s] that the past holds lessons for future negotiators.”

- The New Yorker, review of Back Channel to Cuba (2015)

Back Channel to Cuba, William LeoGrande’s and Peter Kornbluh’s timely, comprehensive, and meticulously researched study of the ebb and flow in U.S.-Cuban relations from the beginning of the Castro era to the eve of the reopening of diplomatic ties is an enormous contribution to our understanding of this convoluted subject as Washington and Havana move to develop a new equation.”

- Inscription for The Douglas Dillon Award for Distinguished Writing on American Diplomacy, presented to Peter Kornbluh by the American Academy of Diplomacy (2015)

“[A] stream of insights into past American policy, spiced with depictions of White House officials in poses they would never adopt for a formal portrait.” 

- The New York Times, review of White House E-Mail: The Top Secret Computer Messages the Reagan-Bush White House Tried to Destroy (1995)

“The work of the National Security Archive has helped prevent this issue from being swept under the rug. The Iran-Contra Scandal: The Declassified History is a history we must not forget.”

- James Ridgeway, Village Voice (1993)

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