Tuesday, December 18, 2012
The Paper Trail Through History
By JENNIFER SCHUESSLER - Published: December 16, 2012 - The New York Times
Since their publication in 1971 the Pentagon Papers have been examined seemingly from every possible historical, political, legal and ethical angle.
Actually, make that “copy and recopy.” In a chapter of her book in progress about the history of documents Ms. Gitelman describes the way Mr. Ellsberg obsessively made copies of his copies, even enlisting the help of his children in what she describes as an act of radical self-publishing.
“Even though we think of copying now as perfunctorily ripping something off, he was expressing himself by Xeroxing,” she said.
The Pentagon Papers were a landmark, in her view, not just in the antiwar movement, but in a “Xerox revolution” that allowed citizens to seize hold of official documents, and official knowledge, and turn them to their own purposes as never before.