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

Athan G. Theoharis, Author, John S. Cox, Author, John Stuart Cox, Photographer Temple University Press $34.5 (489p) ISBN 978-0-87722-532-4
In Secrecy and Power (1987), Richard Gid Powers argued that the late FBI director achieved greater power than any figure in U.S. history. Theoharis and Cox, from a study of previously inaccessible FBI files plus extensive interviews, shed further light on the methods by which Hoover attained, employed and abused power, demonstrating that ``The Boss'' more proficiently undermined our constitutional guarantees than any political leader before or since. The authors also speculate about what made ``this sad, impoverished man'' tick as they probe the darker aspects of Hoover's psyche, elaborating for instance on his identification of political radicalism with filth and licentiousness, ``neither of which ever failed to arouse in him an almost hysterical loathing.'' This important biography adds significantly to the growing dossier demythologizing a legend. Theoharis is a history professor at Marquette University, Cox a freelance writer. Illustrations. (June)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
Hardcover - 489 pages - 978-0-7881-5839-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-553-28539-0
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