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The Secret Life Of J. Edgar Hoover (edition 1993)

by Anthony Summers

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240248,049 (3.46)6
Member:Hanneri
Title:The Secret Life Of J. Edgar Hoover
Authors:Anthony Summers
Info:Victor Gollancz (1993), Edition: Not a first edition., Hardcover, 800 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:2012, Non Fiction

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Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover by Anthony Summers

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Well written and researched. Disturbing from cover to cover. The willingness of FDR to use the Hoover dirty tricks and surveillance for his own advancement is the beginning of real power for Hoover and he wielded it until his death. The book brings to mind the sausage making story, you don't want to know how your government works. Quite frankly, no one comes out looking good in this one. Given the story in the news today (23 May 2013, just in case post dating vanishes) is about the IRS using it's power to persecute groups of citizens I guess we can say that some things just never change. ( )
  Whiskey3pa | May 23, 2013 |
This 1993 book, publsihed more than 20 years after J. Edgar Hoover's death in 1972, is full of information and gossip, but the picture it draws of Hoover's behavior and evil is persuasive. Summers quotes a psychiatry professor who said "Hoover would have made a perfect high-level Nazi." Reading the book lends reliability to that assessment--and it is very disturbing that Hoover was able to induce Presidents to allow him to continue in office into his dotage. One need not accept all that the book sets out as Gospel but I was appalled that so much of it might well be true. ( )
  Schmerguls | Nov 20, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399138005, Hardcover)

Presidents yearned to fire him, but were daunted by his storehouse of damaging secrets. Public officials and private citizens lived in fear of his illegal surveillance and harassment tactics. Now, in this ground-breaking, at times shocking biography, J. Edgar Hoover, the man who ruled over the FBI for nearly fifty years, emerges definitively as one of the greatest menaces of our times.

Official and Confidential, by the award-winning investigative journalist and author Anthony Summers, is the first book to expose the public and the private J. Edgar Hoover. Other biographers have hinted at the dark secrets in the Director's life, but Summers courageously discloses the truth. After conducting more than eight hundred interviews and obtaining access to previously concealed documents, Summers has created a chilling portrait of a legendary figure who blatantly abused the public trust.

* J. Edgar Hoover, Summers establishes, was a closet homosexual and transvestite. Mafia bosses obtained information about Hoover's sex life and used it for decades to keep the FBI at bay. Without this, the Mafia as we know it might never have gained its hold in America.

* J. Edgar Hoover shamelessly accepted gifts and free lodging from millionaire oilmen, and appropriated FBI facilities for his personal use.

* J. Edgar Hoover influenced the course of World War II by ignoring an early warning about Pearl Harbor.

* J. Edgar Hoover used his knowledge of John F. Kennedy's womanizing to ensure that Lyndon Johnson became Vice President. He relied on dirty tricks to stay in office under Kennedy and subverted the Warren Commission's probe into the investigation of his death.

* J. Edgar Hoover himself was the target of a Watergate-era burglary attempt - and perhaps even a murder plot.

With these and other astonishing disclosures, Summers defines a man and his times. He explores Hoover's troubled youth as the son of a mentally ill father and a highly demanding mother, and the development of the obsessive behavior that dominated his later years. Summers takes the reader on an extraordinary journey, as a zealous young lawyer rebuilds an ineffectual corps of agents into a massive force capable of police-state tactics. With riveting detail, Summers documents Hoover's behind-the-scenes role in war and peace through fifty years and eight presidential administrations.

Richly anecdotal, meticulously researched Official and Confidential depicts some of the most controversial and colorful events of our century. Here is a disturbing lesson in how one man was able to abuse his position of power and change the course of American history.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:34 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Presidents yearned to fire him, but were daunted by his storehouse of damaging secrets. Public officials and private citizens lived in fear of his illegal surveillance and harassment tactics. Now, in this ground-breaking, at times shocking biography, J. Edgar Hoover, the man who ruled over the FBI for nearly fifty years, emerges definitively as one of the greatest menaces of our times. Official and Confidential, by the award-winning investigative journalist and author Anthony Summers, is the first book to expose the public - and the private - J. Edgar Hoover. Other biographers have hinted at the dark secrets in the Director's life, but Summers courageously discloses the truth. After conducting more than eight hundred interviews and obtaining access to previously concealed documents, Summers has created a chilling portrait of a legendary figure who blatantly abused the public trust. J. Edgar Hoover, Summers establishes, was a closet homosexual and transvestite. Mafia bosses obtained information about Hoover's sex life and used it for decades to keep the FBI at bay. Without this, the Mafia as we know it might never have gained its hold in America. J. Edgar Hoover shamelessly accepted gifts and free lodging from millionaire oilmen, and appropriated FBI facilities for his personal use. J. Edgar Hoover influenced the course of World War II by ignoring an early warning about Pearl Harbor. J. Edgar Hoover used his knowledge of John F. Kennedy's womanizing to ensure that Lyndon Johnson became Vice President. He relied on dirty tricks to stay in office under Kennedy and subverted the Warren Commission's probe into the investigation of his death. J. Edgar Hoover himself was the target of a Watergate-era burglary attempt - and perhaps even a murder plot. With these and other astonishing disclosures, Summers defines a man and his times. He explores Hoover's troubled youth as the son of a mentally ill father and a highly demanding mother, and the development of the obsessive behavior that dominated his later years. Summers takes the reader on an extraordinary journey, as a zealous young lawyer rebuilds an ineffectual corps of agents into a massive force capable of police-state tactics. With riveting detail, Summers documents Hoover's behind-the-scenes role in war and peace through fifty years and eight presidential administrations. Richly anecdotal, meticulously researched, Official and Confidential depicts some of the most controversial and colorful events of our century. Here is a disturbing lesson in how one man was able to abuse his position of power and change the course of American history.… (more)

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