The Boss: J. Edgar Hoover and the Great American Inquisition

Overview

The authors cracked the secret filing system of J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI until he died in 1972. This is his definitive biography with unprecedented accuracy & comprehensive primary evidence. Draws on previously unknown & extremely sensitive FBI files as well as interviews with Hoover family members, agents, politicians, & targets of FBI investigations to reveal the man, the administrator, & the power-monger who manipulated American politics for half a century. Investigates the extent to ...
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Overview

The authors cracked the secret filing system of J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI until he died in 1972. This is his definitive biography with unprecedented accuracy & comprehensive primary evidence. Draws on previously unknown & extremely sensitive FBI files as well as interviews with Hoover family members, agents, politicians, & targets of FBI investigations to reveal the man, the administrator, & the power-monger who manipulated American politics for half a century. Investigates the extent to which Hoover made a mockery of the American Constitution & its system of checks & balances by immunizing the FBI from critical scrutiny.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In Secrecy and Power (1987), Richard Gid Powers argued that the late FBI director achieved greater power than any figure in U.S. history. Theoharis and Cox, from a study of previously inaccessible FBI files plus extensive interviews, shed further light on the methods by which Hoover attained, employed and abused power, demonstrating that ``The Boss'' more proficiently undermined our constitutional guarantees than any political leader before or since. The authors also speculate about what made ``this sad, impoverished man'' tick as they probe the darker aspects of Hoover's psyche, elaborating for instance on his identification of political radicalism with filth and licentiousness, ``neither of which ever failed to arouse in him an almost hysterical loathing.'' This important biography adds significantly to the growing dossier demythologizing a legend. Theoharis is a history professor at Marquette University, Cox a freelance writer. Illustrations. (June)
Library Journal
$27.95. biog Hoover was the fourth child born to a willful mother and a weak father. As a young FBI agent, imbued with his mother's Calvinistic sense of rectitude, he distinguished himself with his work ethic and organization of raids on such radical groups as the IWW; as director, he reformed the agency and initiated the illegal break-ins, wiretaps, and cooperation with sources such as Hedda Hopper that enriched FBI files with politically explosive material. Through adroit use of the Freedom of Information Act, Theoharis and Cox have produced a richly documented biography of a Mephistophelian man. Highly recommended. James L. Jablonowski, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Booknews
Another, and powerful, revelation of the depravity of the long- enduring tyrant. Theoharis (history, Marquette U.) and Cox (a freelancer) trace Hoover's career and the administrations that nurtured it and those that were obliged by political expediency to endure it. A careful, readable study. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780788158391
  • Publisher: DIANE Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 11/28/1998
  • Pages: 489
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.50 (d)

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