The recent release of the historical documentary film The U.S. vs. John Lennon , on FBI surveillance of the beloved Beatle, has propelled Jon Wiener’s Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files into the limelight.
The book chronicles the 14-year legal battle to win release of the FBI files, which revealed the Nixon Administration’s attempts in 1972 to “neutralize” John Lennon’s antiwar activity. In the last few weeks, some major media outlets have interviewed Wiener or published his comments: The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, and NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross have all utilized the author’s expertise. The John Lennon FBI files document an era when rock music had a real political force, when youth culture challenged the status quo in Washington, and when the president responded by mobilizing the FBI to silence the man from England who sang “Give Peace a Chance.”
Gimme Some Truth also tells the story of Jon Wiener’s campaign to win release of the Lennon files under the Freedom of Information Act, and the story of the ways the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations fought to preserve government secrecy in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court.