The Boss: J. Edgar Hoover and the Great American Inquisition

The Boss: J. Edgar Hoover and the Great American Inquisition

The Boss: J. Edgar Hoover and the Great American Inquisition

The Boss: J. Edgar Hoover and the Great American Inquisition

Synopsis

Traces the life of J. Edgar Hoover, examines the way in which he ran the FBI, and discusses the secret files he kept on politicians, celebrities, and extremists.

Excerpt

In hist best-selling mystery The Chancellor Manuscript, the adventure novelist Robert Ludlum intricately explored the blackmail potential of the files that J. Edgar Hoover, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1924 until his death in May 1972, secretly maintained in his office. In a complicated plot involving conspirators and double agents, Ludlum's characters vie either to destroy the "Hoover files" or to retrieve what remains of them for purposes of subverting the federal government. Ludlum's fictional Hoover maintained a "cabinet of filth," consisting of dossiers on "the most influential people in the country, in the House, the Senate, the Pentagon, the White House, Presidential and Congressional advisors, leading authorities in a dozen fields." In this account, Hoover's mere possession of such files empowered him to "shape the government, alter the laws and attitudes of the country." Describing the scope and blackmail potential of the "Hoover files," one of Ludlum's characters pointedly observes that "every paper, every insert, every addendum related to Security crossed Hoover's desk. And as we know, 'Security' took on the widest possible range. Sexual activities, drinking habits, marriage and family confidences, the most personal details of the subjects' lives -- none were too remote or insignificant. Hoover pored over these dossiers like Croesus with his gold. Three Presidents wanted to replace him. None did."

Ludlum's fictional Hoover and fictional Hoover files struck a responsive . . .

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