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Puppetmaster: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover Paperback – Bargain Price, August 1, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Author Richard Hack brings us an engaging look at Hoover's career and his enormous influence in structuring the FBI as an important and powerful law enforcement agency concerned with many of the homeland security issues of the time.
Hoover is an ultimate icon of how one human being can do so much good and yet, at the same time, resort to some of the most corrupt immoral and un-American tactics to achieve his goals.
His life is an example of a highly organized and determined American who believed he was doing what was best for America during his fifty year directorship, He accomplished a tremendous amount in building a strong and stable agency that was truly valuable, and continues to be so, in assisting criminal investigations and apprehensions throughout the country.
Unfortunately, J. Edgar Hoover was a human being who became a bit too impressed with the aura he had created about himself and his very profound human insecurity made him a dangerous person. He was the living embodiment of the axiom that 'power corrurpts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.'
In the interests of national security, Hoover perpetrated some oif the most heinous acts of immorality witnessed in American history. Don't forget, he was in charge for fifty years! Hoover ruined lives, invaded good people's privacy, blackmailed politicians and presidents and believed that he was more important than the very Presidents of the United States he served.Read more ›
In "Puppetmaster," author Richard Hack unfolds a psychological study of a man as errie as he was fascinating, as powerful as he was corrupt, and as fundamentally patriotic as any man since George Washington.
The book is written like a novel--full of description that flows the reader through tales of gangsters, kidnappings, Communism, wiretaps, and murder. I throughly enjoyed this book, which I absolutely recommend to anyone who wants a wonderful read about a fascinating man.
I must admit that I was surprised by what I did not find in this new book on Hoover's life. Hoover has always been referred to as the "keeper of secrets". I would have thought that with so many reputed secrets, Richard Hack would have uncovered something new, never-presented material, but such was not the case with Hack's book. I look forward to the day when some of Hoover's well kept secrets are uncovered and brought to life in a new book. But until then there are no new discoveries to be found in "Puppetmaster: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover". I would like to recommend Curt Centry's book, J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets as an alternative to "Puppetmaster".
Hoover's need for fame was a double edged sword: It helped promote the FBI and it's intentions, but it also put public image over real substance. The most interesting parts of the book were Hoover tracking down old-time mobsters, and his obsession with Martin Luther King Jr. and his ties to the communist party.
The biggest problems with the book were lack of technical details (Hack throughout mentions illegal wire taps and "black bag jobs", but never goes into details of how they were implemented), and apparent embellishment of the truth. For example, Hack goes into detail in converstaions between 2 people which there are no sources for. This is confusing and detracts from the overall authenticity of the book.
Overall, this was a great book to learn about this unusual leader. I think it paints a farily balanced picture of him, not as an evil man, but of a smart control freak and media hound that was given too much power for too long.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wow!! Really a good book. He had the dirt on everyone.
When I was a little kid – back in the 1940s and 1950s, J. Edgar Hoover was quite a hero. He was the ultimate crime fighter; the “G-Man” who put the bad guys away and was most... Read morePublished 7 months ago by D. Blankenship
Very interesting to read the inner workings of the FBI while my parent was employed under the thumb of J Edgar Hoover. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mary K. Hughes
Was a gift to my daughter...she enjoyed it. I'll have to borrow it to make my own decision.Published 17 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 on July 26, 2014 by JayefromJersey
As Lord Acton presciently said "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely! Read morePublished on May 6, 2014 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