Wiretap! 1955 pulp book cover carries timely warning

Dr. Ivan Greenberg sent in this high-res scan of Charles Einstein's novel, Wiretap!: "This 1955 book from Dell publishing was one of the first popular novels to address police wiretapping abuse. The technology of wiretapping recalls a much different era, when wires really mattered."

The design is pure pulp, but its warning of mass surveillance is evergreen: was this post-war America's answer to 1984? I don't know! Full-size image after the jump!


  1. “The NSA offers exciting and interesting work for recent college graduates in mathematics and computer science. Pick up the phone, call your mom, and ask for an application.”

  2. Charles Einstein (Albert Einstein’s kid brother?) wrote a book about a guy in closet with a reel-to-reel the size of manual typewriter that he balances on an apple crate so he can eavesdrop on a Vargas girl who is wrapped in a towel, while a man with cufflinks prepares to leave her place (or enter the closet?)

    1.  Charles Einstein (August 2, 1926 – March 7, 2007) was a newspaperman and sportswriter and he also wrote the novel The Bloody Spur on which the film While the City Sleeps by Fritz Lang was based. His father was the comedian Harry Parke. He is the older half-brother of comedic actors Albert Brooks and Bob Einstein, better known by his stage name “Super Dave Osborne”.

      . . . according to The Great Wiki.

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