Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Daniel Golden exposes how academia has become a major target of foreign and domestic espionage—and why that is troubling news for our nation's security and democratic values. Labyrinth and the Princeton Public Library invites you to join us for a presentation and discussion.
Grounded in extensive research and reporting, Spy Schools reveals that globalization—the influx of foreign students and professors and the outflow of Americans for study, teaching, and conferences abroad—has transformed U.S. higher education into a front line for international spying. In labs, classrooms, and auditoriums, intelligence services from countries like China, Russia, and Cuba seek insights into U.S. policy, recruits for clandestine operations, and access to sensitive military and civilian research. The FBI and CIA reciprocate, tapping international students and faculty as informants. Universities ignore or even condone this interference, despite the tension between their professed global values and the nationalistic culture of espionage.
Golden uncovers shocking campus activity—from the CIA placing agents undercover in Harvard Kennedy School classes and staging academic conferences to persuade Iranian nuclear scientists to defect, to a Chinese graduate student at Duke University stealing research for an invisibility cloak, and a tiny liberal arts college in Marietta, Ohio, exchanging faculty with China’s most notorious spy school—to show how relentlessly and ruthlessly both U.S. and foreign intelligence services are penetrating the ivory tower.
Daniel Golden won a Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for his Wall Street Journal series on admissions preferences at elite colleges, which became the basis for his bestselling book, The Price of Admission. He edited a series about how U.S. companies dodge taxes by moving their headquarters overseas, which won Bloomberg News’s first and only Pulitzer Prize in 2015. In 2011, he was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for his BloombergNews series about for-profit colleges exploiting veterans, low-income students, and the homeless. He is currently a senior editor at ProPublica.
Co-sponsored by Princeton University's Ferris Seminars in Journalism