From the Secret Files of J. Edgar Hoover

Athan G. Theoharis, Editor Ivan R. Dee Publisher $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-929587-67-7
These selections from Hoover's official and confidential file, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal how the former FBI director was able to advance his own bureaucratic, political and moralistic agenda by ``indirect blackmail'' throughout his 48-year tenure. Excerpts from memoranda, letters and phone transcriptions include FDR adviser Harry Hopkins's entreaty that the Bureau wiretap his residence and tail his wife; compromising conversations between Navy ensign John Kennedy and a gossip columnist suspected of being a German spy; Nixon staffer H. R. Haldeman's request for ``a rundown on homosexuals known and suspected in the Washington press corps''; and the full text of the notorious FBI-written letter encouraging Martin Luther King Jr. to commit suicide. As Theoharis aptly remarks, these files document the perils that unelected officials can pose for a constitutional government. Hoover's willingness to authorize illegal investigative techniques is clearly revealed here. Theoharis is a professor of history of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/22/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
Paperback - 396 pages - 978-1-56663-017-7
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