In Deep: The FBI, the CIA, and the Truth about America's "Deep State" (Paperback)
Revised and updated
"One of today’s most respected journalists, David Rohde takes on one of the country’s most toxic conspiracy theories," presenting a "scrupulously reported and even-handed" account of how power and intelligence are exploited in Washington that “goes deep indeed inside America’s security state, telling a story that will surprise readers of all political persuasions” (Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money).
Donald Trump blamed his 2020 defeat on Democrats and the “deep state”—a supposed secret cabal of Washington insiders that relentlessly encroaches on the individual rights of Americans—for stealing the election and undermining his presidency. Most Americans who supported him agreed. Americans on the left increasingly fear the “military-industrial complex,” a faction of generals and defense contractors who they believe routinely push the country into endless wars. But does the American “deep state” really exist?
This question is fundamental to preserving the legitimacy of American democracy, as frustration with and distrust for the government continue to grow. In Deep seeks to dispel these pernicious myths through an examination of the FBI, CIA, and Justice Department scandals of the past fifty years from the Church Committee’s exposure of Cold War abuses to the claims and counterclaims of the Trump era and the relentless spread of conspiracy theories online and on air. It exposes the misconduct of Attorney General William Barr; how distrust of the “deep state” undermined the US government response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and the growing discord sowed by the explosion of false information online. It investigates Trump’s quest to discredit government experts, the legislative and judicial branches, and the results of the 2020 election and assume authoritarian power for himself. “The idea of the deep state, Rohde writes, is inextricably linked to a particular view of presidential power” (Dina Temple-Raston, Washington Post).
Based on dozens of interviews with career CIA operatives and FBI agents, “In Deep is a wholly satisfying read and a necessary one for anyone wanting to understand the forces at play in our government today” (Andrea Bernstein, Peabody Award–winning cohost of the Trump, Inc. podcast and author of American Oligarchs).
— Dina Temple-Raston - Washington Post
Compelling and timely.… The issues raised by In Deep are particularly urgent.
— Barbara Spindel - Christian Science Monitor
Informative, instructive, tough-minded and timely.
— Glenn C. Altschuler - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Rohde skilfully makes clear that it is precisely by pedalling the myth of the Deep State that the President has been able to undermine efforts at oversight.
— Lawrence Douglas - Times Literary Supplement
David Rohde has written a remarkable book that is both urgent reporting and sweeping history. He brings the same vitality and precision that animated his storied reporting on war zones to this portrait of the decades-long battle over the powers of the intelligence community, and the erosion—under recent administrations of both parties—of rules put in place to protect American citizens’ rights. And he brings fresh insight to the phrase ‘deep state,’ and the role it may play in the future of American politics.
— Ronan Farrow, author of Catch and Kill
One of today’s most respected journalists, David Rohde takes on one of the country’s most toxic conspiracy theories—the claim that a secret cabal of insiders in Washington is thwarting the Trump presidency. Scrupulously reported and even-handed, In Deep goes deep indeed inside America’s security state, telling a story that will surprise readers of all political persuasions.
— Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money
David Rohde, one of the best investigative reporters of his generation, brings together revelatory history and original analysis to the central drama of the Trump presidency. What I admire most is his fair mindedness about pressing and controversial issues that have caused many others to lose their heads.
— George Packer, author of The Unwinding and Our Man
In Deep is a compassionate critique of the simmering grievance that has now found its way to the White House, where it threatens to upend the tenets of American democracy: truth, justice, and above all, the rule of law. Reported in stunning and tenacious detail, In Deep is a wholly satisfying read—and a necessary one for anyone wanting to understand the forces at play in our government today.
— Andrea Bernstein, Peabody Award–winning co-host of the Trump, Inc. podcast and author of American Oligarchs