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Hoover, J. Edgar (1895-1972)

The following sources are recommended by a professor whose research specialty is J. Edgar Hoover.


Six Superlative Sources

· Athan Theoharis and John Stuart Cox. The Boss: J. Edgar Hoover and the Great American Inquisition. Temple University Press, 1988. Surveys the life and career of the long-term FBI director.

· Curt Gentry. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. Norton, 1991. A well-written survey of the life and career of the FBI director, although it contains minor errors when characterizing the contents of Hoover's Official and Confidential File.

· Athan Theoharis, ed. The FBI: A Comprehensive Reference Guide. Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1998. Contains a brief biographical sketch and considerable information about the policies and tactics of the former FBI director who served from 1924-1972.

· The Federal Bureau of Investigation Office of the Public and Congressional Affairs, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, D.C. 20535. Has posted online selected FBI files, information on FBI policies and procedures, and how to obtain FBI files under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts (in addition to the online listing, pre-processed FBI files can be reviewed at the FBI Reading Room at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.)

· "J. Edgar Hoover: Personal and Confidential," Television documentary produced by Towers Productions and aired on April 14, 1999, on A and E Biography.

· Ovid Demaris, ed. The Director: An Oral Biography of J. Edgar Hoover. Harper's, 1975. Summarizes the results of interviews with members of Hoover's family, former FBI officials, and prominent Americans who knew or had official dealings with Hoover.

Other Excellent Sources

· Athan Theoharis, ed. The FBI: An Annotated Bibliography and Research Guide. Garland, 1994. Somewhat dated given the volume of articles and books on the FBI published since 1994. Annotated bibliography identifying the more important books and articles on the FBI, and the FBI files available in microfilm.

· James Bennet, ed. Control of Information in the United States: An Annotated Bibliography. Meckler, 1987. Uneven bibliography on books, news stories, and articles about the FBI.

· Gerald Haines and David Langbart. Unlocking the Files of the FBI: A Guide to Its Record and Classification System. Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, 1993. Helpful reference book in that it identifies the contents and organization of the FBI's various files and classification system. Will prove helpful for those seeking to obtain FBI files under the Freedom of Information Act or understand the classification system of released FBI files.

· Frank Donner. The Age of Surveillance. Knopf, 1980. Solid survey of the philosophy and tactics of the former FBI director.

· Richard Gid Powers. Secrecy and Power: The Life of J. Edgar Hoover. Free Press, 1987. Solid survey of the life and career of former FBI director.

· Anthony Summer. Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover. Putnam, 1993. Sensationalist account of Hoover's life and directorship alleging that Hoover was homosexual, a cross-dresser, and was compromised by the mob.

· Athan Theoharis. J. Edgar Hoover, Sex, and Crime: An Historical Antidote. Ivan R. Dee, 1995. Refutes Summers's sensational account re Hoover's homosexuality and being compromised by the mob and offers an alternative assessment of Hoover's purposes in collecting information about the sexual activities of prominent Americans and crime policies.

· Kenneth O'Reilly. "Racial Matters": The FBI's Secret File on Black America, 1960-1972. New York: Free Press, 1989. Surveys FBI surveillance, under Hoover, of civil rights activists and organizations, focusing on the 1960s.

· Natalie Robins. Alien Ink: The FBI's War on Freedom of Expression. Morrow, 1992. Surveys the FBI's surveillance of prominent authors, reporters, and writers.

· Cartha DeLoach. Hoover's FBI: The Inside Story by Hoover's Trusted Lieutenant. Regency, 1995. An insider's account of the policies and procedures of the former FBI director written by a Hoover partisan.

· W. Mark Felt. The FBI Pyramid from Inside. Putnam, 1979. An insider's account of a former FBI agent and official of his long FBI career, provides insights into Hoover's personality and policies.

· William Roemer. Roemer: Man Against the Mob. New York: Donald Fine, 1989. Former FBI agent's account of his activities directed at organized crime. Provides insights into Hoover's policies and procedures.

· Anthony Villano. Brick Agent: Inside the Mafia for the FBI. Quadrangle/New York Times Book Co., 1977. Account by former FBI agent of his undercover activities directed at organized crime, provides insights into Hoover's changed organized crime procedures in the 1960s and 1970s.

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