Wednesday, August 18, 2021

J. Edgar

I have been interested in the history of the FBI for as long as I've known about the institution. When I was growing up Hoover was legendary. This looks fascinating. Ordered.
.... The fearsome director, he writes, was “kind, courteous, thoughtful, fearless, sometimes funny, a perfect gentleman, and a devout patriot” but also “vindictive, close-minded, hypercritical, a man of intense hatreds and eternal grudges, a man who in his sincere belief that he was protecting his country had repeatedly violated the principles of the Constitution on which that country was founded.” In short, a “strange and remarkable,” “fascinating and perplexing” creature. ....
Put in charge of the tiny, corrupt Bureau of Investigation in 1924, when he was not yet 30, Hoover invented the new Federal Bureau of Investigation and ruled it from its birth to his own death. He created the FBI crime lab with its forensic wizardry, the FBI academy to train agents and local and state police, the fingerprint records that ultimately held more than 200 million cards, and those “secret files” supposedly full of dirt on presidents, lesser pols, business titans and celebrities.  ....
The Director: My Years Assisting J. Edgar Hoover

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