Best Defense

Quote of the day: Was the deep state born in the spy novels of the early 20th century?

I suspect so.

The_39_Steps_1935_British_poster

 

I suspect so. I just noticed this in John Buchan’s World War I-era novel, The Thirty-Nine Steps:

Away behind all the governments and the armies there was a big subterranean movement going on, engineered by very dangerous people. He had come on it by accident; it fascinated him; he went further, and then he got caught. … He told me some queer things that explained a lot that had puzzled me.

For what it’s worth, the Hitchcock movie is unfaithful to the book and I think much better for it.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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