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Security Journal

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 795–797 | Cite as

Review of Matthew Dallek, 2016, Defenseless under the night: the Roosevelt years and the origins of Homeland security. New York: Oxford University Press. 360 pp, ISBN: 9780199743124

  • Greg MarquisEmail author
Book Review

When one encounters the term civil defence in contemporary America, it tends to be associated with the ‘duck and cover’ air raid drills and bomb shelters of the early Cold War era. Both approaches to protecting the civilian population were later discontinued in the age of the hydrogen bomb and the intercontinental ballistic missile. But natural and human threats remained, and in 1978 the Federal Emergency Management Agency was formed. Following the 9/11 terror attacks on American soil, the Bush administration set up the Department of Homeland Security, which carries out both border security and customs enforcement and gathers intelligence on and investigates threats to the ‘homeland.’

There was a time when civil defence or homeland security, at least for progressive Americans, meant something beyond planning for and mitigating damage from enemy attacks on the nation’s communities. Dallek’s well-researched book explores how social welfare liberals such as Eleanor Roosevelt (ER)...

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History and PoliticsUniversity of New BrunswickSaint JohnCanada

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