From Andrew LanhamNew Republic: “Smart, entertaining, and occasionally alarming. . . Hochman narrates a century and a half of wiretapping, from the Civil War to the War on Terror. What emerges is a powerful prehistory of today’s private sector and government surveillance regimes. Hochman reveals the surprising strength of public resistance to all forms of electronic surveillance until the 1960s. And, crucially, he shows how national leaders used the racial backlash politics of the late 1960s to normalize government eavesdropping and build the world we live in today.”

From Grayson ClaryWashington Post: “[This] thoughtful, searching history reminds us that the practice of wiretapping was steeped from the start in lawlessness…Wiretapping, in the public’s mind, was what crooks did…The Listeners does a wonderful job evoking a world shaped by intense distaste for surveillance, even if the sharp emotions that once energized the battle now seem lost to history.”