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Showing 1-10 of 107 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 137 reviews
on November 5, 2012
Muy bueno, excelente. Sheds some lights on a very dark history. Well writen and researched.From self proclaimed hero to unmasked crook. I am 73 years old and still remember the pictures and books that made the false image of J. Edgar Hover.
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on October 17, 2007
A truly interesting book. I have to say that it changed my view on the legendary man, and opens my eyes to how power corrupts. It's a bit long, but I'd recommend this to anyone interested in American politics in the 20th century.
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on November 12, 2012
I can't say I "enjoyed" this book. Rather, it was very disturbing. The level of corruption on display, throughout the government but within the FBI hierarchy in particular, was stunning. The author seems to have documented even his most salacious allegations, though I could have done without a good deal of the seamy detail he wrapped into the narrative. The obvious conclusion is the J. Edgar Hoover was a deeply disturbed individual who probably should have been fired from the FBI early in his career, and should never have been placed in charge.

The other obvious conclusion is the America does a lousy job of vetting its leaders. Every single president Hoover served, from Coolidge through Nixon, had some sort of sleazy behavior, one or a dozen skeletons hidden in the closet, that Hoover managed to uncover and hold against them to Hoover's advantage. No president was ever willing to fire him, no matter how badly he needed firing. This lesson should serve as stark warning to those who think it's not important to know the backgrounds of those who would serve us in high offices. Skeletons are fodder for extortion from sources within and without the government, to the great loss of the people of this country.
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on December 7, 2011
This book is must read for all those who are interested in the theory of a "shadow government" in America. It also ties in well with many of the books written about the JFK administration and political assassination. Nevertheless the book seems to be well researched with lots of notes in the back section. It is also a good companion book to another Anthony Summers book, "Not in Your Lifetime".
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on May 10, 2013
This book is a biography, but also proves the old axiom "power corrupts, total power totally corrupts". Hoover was the epitome of a hypocrite: condemning homosexuals when he was one, keeping secret files (mostly sexual exploits and deviations) on politicians and citizens to use against them or for his own blackmail purposes.

Hoover's FBI had many accomplishments with fingerprint files, discipline of agents, and central crime laboratory, but allowed the Mafia to expand exponentially, obsessed about finding communists long after they had any power (if they ever did have any), and refused to cooperate with CIA and Secret Service. The FBI also messed up with Pearl Harbor info and JFK assassination prevention (a couple of fairly major events). He kept complete power because of his secret files that Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon feared but would use for their own benefit.

I think that the book dealt with Hoover's sexual deviances and his obsession with other people's sexual deviances to an excessive amount, I would like to have had more info on the FBI, but the book is about Hoover and not the FBI. All in all, somewhat interesting and enlightening, but mostly disturbing.
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on February 2, 2015
This story was fairly long and detailed. It chronicles his life and, if the author is to be believed, Hoover was just as, if not more powerful than, the president.

Hoover wielded his power to his own benefit, making enemies high and low. Owing to his control of things, Pearl Harbor, it is hinted at, could have been prevented based on knowledge Hoover had from a Soviet spy.

More pictures other than documents would have been appreciated and have helped not only make the book go faster but tie things together.
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on March 3, 2015
Couldn't get through this. Between the author referring to his subject as "Edgar" (a big no-no for biographers, according to my high school history teacher) and the salacious accusations that ooze from every page (Bobby Kennedy was involved in the murder of Marilyn Monroe?), I couldn't take it seriously. When you find yourself wondering after every sentence whether that particular fact is true, it's time to find a new nonfiction book. It's too bad, because Hoover was an exceptionally powerful and controversial figure, and it would be interesting to know more about his life. Some day I'll try to track down a better biography.
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on May 8, 2016
This book is a fire cracker. The author uncovers new material about the same excesses of Hoover and then is able to make a balanced condemnation of his gestapo reign. He was no better than the secret police in a tinpot dictatorship. He destroyed innocent lives. He ruined good people. He was a two bit thief. US History needs to purge him the way that soviet history purged Stalin ....... TERRIFIC READ.
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on January 19, 2017
If you don't want to know historical background, do not read this book. However I have always been among those that wants and needs to know - that is how we learn important realities, in my opinion of course. Anthony Summers has composed a comprehensive report on a man who should never have held office. The man's obvious mental issues should have had him removed from office early in his career. Instead we proceed through eight presidents' terms and countless catastrophic life events, much less the voyeurism present in his record keeping - with the author showing detailed evidence of something that is more than malfeasance - much more. #PearlHarbor#WWII#espionage#KennedyAssassination#PentagonPapers#Watergate
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on November 10, 2016
Great read !! More people should read this and learn who J Edgar Hoover really was and he should never have been allowed to have the free reign in government that he had. Certainly explains why the mob was not pursued by the FBI and the criminal closeness of Hoover to the top mobsters. Opens a lot questions and suspects in the death of Marilyn Monroe and JFK.
This really is a MUST read.
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