Originally published in 1964, The Naked Society was the first book to discuss how then-new technologies such as hidden microphones, concealed cameras, and the polygraph lie detector could be used by government, employers, stores, credit bureaus, security personnel, and other officials to invade our civil liberties. Such activity, which represented the most flagrant of the many assaults upon individual rights, was only part of Vance Packard’s truly shocking book, which also considered the ominous implications of loyalty investigations, passport and travel restrictions, and overzealous police actions. In the end, according to Packard, new technologies, manipulated by government and business, were eroding our freedoms, creating a world akin to something out of George Orwell’s 1984.
Timelier than ever in today’s world, where our civil liberties are under constant threat from technology and the actions of government and business, this all new edition of The Naked Society features an introduction by noted historian Rick Perlstein.
Vance Packard (1914-1996) was an American journalist, social critic, and best-selling author. Among his books were the million-selling Hidden Persuaders; The Status Seekers, which described American social stratification and behavior; The Waste Makers, which criticizes planned obsolescence; and The Naked Society, about the threats to privacy posed by new technologies.