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In 1964, the FBI allegedly sent an anonymous letter to Martin Luther King Jr., not-so-subtly suggesting that he kill himself before receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. (“There is only one thing left for you to do,” it read. “You know what it is.”) This incident, though it became a significant part of a 1976 investigation into similar allegations against the bureau, will be a stunner for many viewers of Johanna Hamilton’s 1971. (Even in the era of WikiLeaks, drones, and Edward Snowden, the government still has the ability to retro-shock the naive.) The MLK letter and other records of illegal and unconstitutional behavior by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI might have stayed classified if it weren’t for the Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI, a small group of extreme anti-war activists who broke into a largely unguarded, rinky-dink bureau outpost in Media, Pa. They were never caught, despite the 150 agents who went looking for them, but here, they speak about their crime. The activists detail their preparation for the deed and the ramifications of stealing the gold they’d found: papers that documented government spying and sanctioned intimidation of possibly disruptive college students and “hippie types.” 1971 offers fascinating insight into protest planning, to the point that it may make you want to learn how to pick a lock. But there’s also deep discussion of the risks these young men and women took—especially those with children, who had to face the reality that they might leave their kids essentially orphaned if they wound up in prison for life. But none of them seems to have regrets. As one father says, staying passive and politically safe may end up being more dangerous to your personal freedom than fraught action.