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J. Edgar Hoover: A Graphic Biography Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 8, 2008

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, January 8, 2008
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang; 1st edition (January 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809095033
  • ASIN: B005DIA478
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,810,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Geary returns to the finely detailed style of historical case study made so fascinating in his Library of Victorian Murder series, this time moving away from visceral horror to the arena of political power and the transgressions wrought by those who wield it. He traces the life and career of the creator of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, weaving a compelling portrait of a man isolated by authority and his desire for secrecy while simultaneously making a name for himself and his agency in the war against organized crime. But behind the details known to the public were petty power plays, possible connections to La Cosa Nostra and rumors of homosexuality and cross-dressing. All surrounded a government official whose ultraconservative ways and fascistic tactics bordered on the criminal when they suited his goals, and led Eleanor Roosevelt to consider the FBI one step away from becoming an American Gestapo. Encompassing events from the Great Depression, WWII, McCarthyism, the Cold War, the Kennedy administration, the Civil Rights movement and Watergate, Geary's work serves as an engrossing, easy to take history lesson. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

An award-winning cartoonist and illustrator, Rick Geary has worked for Marvel Entertainment Group, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and Heavy Metal, and has contributed to National Lampoon and The New York Times Book Review.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Eric on March 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Rick Geary does it again with his graphic biography of an American icon, J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI. He uses his trademark illustrative style to chart the course of Hoover's life from birth to death, and all points in between. Hoover is now a controversial figure thanks to some scandalous, yet unproven rumors (mostly about his personal life), but Geary treats his subject matter fairly, and portrays Hoover in an unbiased fashion. This is a new venture from Geary's excellent "Treasury of Victorian Crime" series, and it does not disappoint. Anyone looking for a concise, yet thoroughly enjoyable biography of Hoover need look no further.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
J. Edgar Hoover was responsible for the creation of what is known today as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and could be claimed to have strongly influenced American, and subsequently global, history through his dossiers on politicians and other influential people. The man used intimidation and wire tapping, along with having his agents follow people and compile information on every aspect of life, to build himself an empire of secrets upon which he kept power until his death.

A Machiavellian figure, Hoover's life seems to have been as clandestine as his agency's work - he had a male partner his whole life but there is no evidence to show that they were involved sexually, though the two were inseparable and went on holiday twice a year together. Hoover also had no real female partners in real life either, instead having a very strong relationship with his mother whom he lived with until her death. The rumours of his cross-dressing take up barely a panel in the book as Geary thankfully doesn't deal in rumours but in fact.

The truth is though that there isn't much to report besides his work at building the FBI - that was his life. It was a conservative, reactionary group that treated black people as second class citizens, didn't hire any women agents, went after communists most of the time, and failed to cooperate, in fact actively block, with other government bodies.

Laid out in this well written book, drawn in Geary's inimitable style, it's hard to see what Hoover did right. He spent most of his career chasing "reds" while enforcing the real corruption within politics, an endemic problem to this day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield on June 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
As usual Geary's illustrations are a perfect match for his text and so detailed one can just look into them for ages. I thoroughly enjoy just looking at Rick Geary's work. I'm quite well read on Hoover and this brought nothing new to the table for me. This is a whirlwind basic biography through his 80 years of life and near 60 of those in the Federal bureaucracy business eventually starting an agency that would go on to be called the FBI, where he became the Director unofficially "for life". From the end of WWI to his death in 1972, Hoover saw tremendous events occurring throughout the 20th century and would play a major part in them. Sometimes on the side of good and right, others on the side of the fanatical tyrant. From Geary's other work I've come to know him as an author who can write an unbiased biography and he has succeeded very well here and Hoover is a very controversial subject. Hoover was a man of his times and place , a man of unflinching morals, a man whose biggest thrill was power and a man who has been surrounded by rumour his whole life but especially since his death and can no longer defend himself. However Geary sticks to the facts in these cases, no proof of any rumour about Hoover has ever been given even a shred of evidence and Geary doesn't lead us on. My only problem with this book is that it is so short that we don't get to ponder the various actions/events Hoover was involved in as they are presented so quickly to try and cover as much territory as possible but of course some things do, in the end, get left out. A good piece though mostly to get an overview of Hoover as a starting point or a quick refresher. The book is factual and the art is stupendous.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chels on January 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was a great, easy read with important & useful information and visually appealing graphics. Definitely a worth-while purchase and the perfect gift for a "history buff."
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