J. Edgar Hoover and His G-Men

Overview

Through gripping accounts of actual incidents, William Breuer brings the reader to the front lines of battle with Hoover and his crimebusters. Thrilling manhunts, thwarted mayhem, and tense confrontations dominate the action as the FBI tracks down the most dangerous hoodlums, kidnappers, and marauders of the era. Breuer also examines the social obstacles of pursuing justice during that bleak period in American history. Citizen apathy spurred by the Depression further stacked the odds against the G-Men as they ...

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Overview

Through gripping accounts of actual incidents, William Breuer brings the reader to the front lines of battle with Hoover and his crimebusters. Thrilling manhunts, thwarted mayhem, and tense confrontations dominate the action as the FBI tracks down the most dangerous hoodlums, kidnappers, and marauders of the era. Breuer also examines the social obstacles of pursuing justice during that bleak period in American history. Citizen apathy spurred by the Depression further stacked the odds against the G-Men as they chased desperadoes across the landscape. Somehow, the FBI achieved unprecedented success in the face of almost insurmountable odds. This powerful volume demonstrates the stunning evolution of a tattered, corrupt organization into a disciplined unit priding itself on integrity and a tireless dedication to duty. Most of all, Hoover's mystique and the sheer force of his will can be felt with each encounter detailed in this fascinating book.

As the blood of criminal violence flowed through the streets in early 1920s America, the FBI was rendered helpless by unholy alliances with crooked politicians and shady dealings. A dynamic, young J. Edgar Hoover would change all that. After being named director of the FBI, Hoover quickly whipped the bureau into crime-fighting shape through mass firings of political hacks and painstaking screening of new recruits. Hoover's meticulous revitalization of the FBI resulted in the forming of a small, coldly efficient force that eagerly awaited its chance to battle the criminal element. Once Congress removed limitations on making arrests and carrying firearms, Hoover and 600 G-Men took to the streets, matching guns and wits with America's most notorious gangsters in an all-out war. The G-Men rapidly nailed ruthless criminals and well-known kingpins such as John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, Ma Barker and her sons, Machine Gun Kelly, and Creepy Karpis (who was personally apprehended by Hoover).

Through gripping accounts of actual incidents, William Breuer brings the reader to the front lines of battle with Hoover and his crimebusters. Thrilling manhunts, thwarted mayhem, and tense confrontations dominate the action as the FBI tracks down the most dangerous hoodlums, kidnappers, and marauders of the era. Breuer also examines the social obstacles of pursuing justice during that bleak period in American history. Citizen apathy spurred by the Depression further stacked the odds against the G-Men as they chased desperadoes across the landscape. Somehow, the FBI achieved unprecented success in the face of almost insurmountable odds. This powerful volume demonstrates the stunning evolution of a tattered, corrupt organization into a disciplined unit priding itself on integrity and a tireless dedication to duty. Most of all, Hoover's mystique and the sheer force of his will can be felt with each encounter detailed in this fascinating book.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The last phrase in this panegyric to the first director of the FBI pretty well sums it up: ``one of America's towering heroes.'' Breuer (American Saga) makes a strong case that Hoover (1895-1972) changed a corrupt and graft-ridden division of the Justice Department into an incorruptible agency. This biography, which concentrates on the bank robbers and kidnappers of the 1920s and '30s-Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd et al.-ends with the WWII era. Breuer considers his subject's career an unalloyed success and attributes negative comments about the director to cowards who did not have the courage to confront him while he was still alive. Thus he ignores the criticism, voiced long before 1972, that Hoover had never taken steps to curb organized crime and that his racism was blatant. Such bias calls into question the author's objectivity. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275949907
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 1,040,101
  • Lexile: 1290L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM B. BREUER, a former newspaper publisher and public relations firm president, now spends his time writing books. Nine of his military titles were main selections of the Military Book Club. Mr. Breuer lives in Cleveland, Tennessee.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

"Little George Won't Panic!"

"No Catch-All for Political Hacks"

Bank Robbery: A Growth Industry

"Ma" Barker and Her Boys

The Man Who Planned to Kidnap Babe Ruth

The Great Prison Breakout

The "Texas Rattlesnake" and His Moll

"We Just Wanted an Easy Pay-Off"

A Hit-and-Run Raid

Cutting a Deal in "Tom's Town"

A Massacre that Outraged America

"Machine Gun" Kelly and His Ambitious Wife

An Oil Tycoon with a Photographic Memory

Rounding Up a Kidnapping Gang

Manhunt Orders: "Shoot to Kill!"

Murder in Cold Blood

A Hot Tip from "Old Joe" the Alligator

Winter Guests in Tucson

Siege in Wisconsin's North Woods

High Drama Outside a Movie Theater

Violent Confrontations

Lashing Out at "Sentimental Moo-Cows"

Follow That Airplane!

"Our Job Is Never Done!"

Aftermath

Notes

Index

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