J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets

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J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets

Author: Curt Gentry
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Copyright: 1991
Pages: 846
Cover Price: $ 21.95

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Shocking grim, and at times, darkly comic, this devastatingly detailed biography chronicles the rise of the nation's legendary top policeman--and the reign of terror that made the FBI the closest thing America had to a gestapo. Curt Gentry reveals Hoover as a paranoid man who intimidated every president from FDR to Nixon, yet shrank from human contact. And he describes in riveting detail how Hoover helped create McCarthyism, blackmailed the Kennedy brothers, influenced the Supreme Court, and sabotaged the Warren Commission's investigation of the assassination of JFK. A hypochondriac who became a national hero, a bachelor prude obsessed with sexual slander, J. Edgar Hoover literally changed the course of history with the files known in the Justice Department as "twelve drawers full of political cancer."

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Background Information

J. Edgar Hoover was the first director of the FBI and remained in the post for the rest of his life, acquiring enormous and possibly corrupt power. Joseph McCarthy was an obscure senator from Wisconsin until he discovered the power of unfounded accusations against supposed Communist sympathizers. The Supreme Court is the highest judicial body in the country, and judges the actions of citizens and governments alike on the basis of the Constitution. Besides the successful assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy, there have been many attempts.