- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
As in his smart biographies of Howard Hughes (Hughes) and Ted Turner/Rupert Murdoch (Clash of the Titans), Hack brings a novelist's flair for drama and a journalist's nose for truth to the life of another controversial figure. With unsourced renditions of Hoover's and others' internal monologues, Hack creates some transparency for the legendary FBI chief's tantalizingly opaque psyche. His most controversial conclusion about Hoover's private life is that, despite his weird intimacy with sidekick Clyde Tolson and his household collections of male nudes and Chinese ceramics, Hoover was not gay. Rather, he was dependent for sexual excitement on furtive perusal of smut from the FBI's Obscene Files and was enamored of certain Hollywood stars, named here. Hack's account of Hoover's public life, meanwhile, zings. He covers Hoover's career from his initial exploits tracking down dissidents through his headline-grabbing pursuit of Depression-era outlaws to his postwar crusade against left-wing subversion, one increasingly out of step with the country during his Vietnam-era decline. Hack's balanced but quite critical treatment details the brilliant self-promotion, which made Hoover a national hero, as well as the paranoid anticommunism, the secret files on presidents and pinkos alike, the illegal surveillance and wiretaps and the racist antagonism to the Civil Rights movement that later made him a villain in many eyes. Hack says too little about the FBI as an institution or its crime-fighting methods, treating it mainly as an extension of Hoover's personal and political agenda. But he does offer a live-wire biography of a determined, energetic, lonely and insecure man who comes off here as much a puppet as master, a consummate bureaucratic infighter all too pathetically aware of his vulnerability to shifts in political power. 6 pages of b&w photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Hack has been an investigative writer for 20 years, covering Hollywood and the media for much of that time. He frequently appears on television as a commentator.
Was a gift to my daughter...she enjoyed it. I'll have to borrow it to make my own decision.Published 5 months ago by Ann W
This is a very informative book about J.Edgar Hoover. It is amazing how he lived his life, which was totally engulfed by his job. Read morePublished 13 months ago by JayefromJersey
As Lord Acton presciently said "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely! Read morePublished 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
Although I enjoyed the melodramatic, potboiling quality of the narrative, and I'd say this book is a good, easy-to-read primer on J. Read morePublished on March 7, 2013 by Katharina
Excellent reading. What a snake, and how many lives did he ruin? Nicely done novel by Richard Hack. Read it.Published on February 21, 2013 by John Quillman.
I felt as though I was reading a report written by a kid in school at times. There was very little flow to the book. Read morePublished on December 2, 2012 by J
In a recent TV documentary interview Mr. Hack suggests that had Hoover been at the helm of the FBI, 9/11 would have certainly not happened. I strongly disagree. Read morePublished on June 12, 2012 by marcoduskopopov
Going into this book, I expected sordid details of wiretaps on JFK and speculation about Hoover's interest in cross dressing. Read morePublished on February 25, 2012 by Naptown
I ordered this book for my father-in-law for Christmas. It arrived earlier than the estimated arrival date, which was wonderful. The book was in great shape. Read morePublished on January 19, 2012 by Melissa