Know Your Enemy is a podcast about the American right co-hosted by Matthew Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell. Read more about it here. You can subscribe to, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher, and receive bonus content by supporting the podcast on Patreon.
For forty-eight years, American presidents came and went, but J. Edgar Hoover remained as the powerful director of the FBI. In her authoritative new biography, G-Man, Yale historian Beverly Gage brings Hoover to life, uncovering the all-too-human man who played such an outsized role in twentieth-century U.S. political history. Gage’s decade of research provides fascinating insights into the troubles that impinged on Hoover’s childhood; his formative time in a white supremacist, Southern fraternity at George Washington University, Kappa Alpha; his early years in what was then the Bureau of Investigation and eventual rise to running it; Hoover’s personal life and sexuality, including his long-term relationship with Clyde Tolson; and the transformation of the FBI across the 1930s and 1940s, which drew Hoover into a number of controversies that followed, from the Kennedy assassination to COINTELPRO and the FBI’s attacks on Martin Luther King Jr.
Sources and further reading:
Beverly Gage, G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century (2022)
Michael Kazin, “J. Edgar Hoover’s Long Shadow,” New Republic, December 9, 2022
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, trans. Harvey Mansfield and Delba Winthrop (1835, 2002)
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