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Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies
Posted by: riverhousebill ()
Date: June 08, 2019 12:43AM

This book is a very good read, Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies
by Marc Aronson

Jennifer must be very desperate quoting J. Edgar Hoover about MLK.
I laugh everytime she quotes from RT RUSSIA TODAY the 100% Kremlin
funded Propaganda Machine. Now Hoover Ha Ha HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Yeh jennifer I bet you do Believe In J Edgar Hoover!

I didn't think a book about J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI and the Cold War would interest me so much, but I found this book fascinating and hard to put down. Written for the high school level and up, it details in a fascinating, thoroughly researched and objective way the lives of Hoover and many peripheral historical figures throughout the 60+ years the book covers, how Hoover built the FBI into a huge organization, how he kept files on everyone remotely suspicious of various crimes or just dissenting thoughts. Beginning with the shocking blackmail letter sent to Martin Luther King Jr. that threatened him to commit suicide, you know you are going to be reading a lot of controversial things in this book. The overriding theme is secrecy, how people have used it to control information, and obtain power over others. The author deftly covers both liberal and conservative viewpoints when discussing American history, and talks about the attractions of Communism as well as its detractions to explain why Americans might have been drawn to it early on. He also ties events of the past to the present (mentions how our government's actions post-9/11 were very similar to those back in the 1930's, when the FBI was rounding up immigrants simply because they were foreign), and discusses how the real danger to security is in not remaining open-minded and in not being willing to admit our mistakes and to rush to judgment about others. I think the real value of this book is in the author's notes and bibliography at the end; he writes a interesting essay about his work on the book and his fears while writing it, and in the works cited list he doesn't just cite the source of a quotation, but also gives a little overview of the books he read and which ones would be most useful to students doing further research on certain topics. I found that fascinating, to get a glimpse into how much work goes into the research for a book like this, and I liked how it sets the example for students that you can't just read one book, even a supposedly objective and factual nonfiction book, about a topic, and know the whole story. Good writing and an informed opinion requires lots of research and reading. But all that seriousness aside, this is a fascinating read! The writing style is clear and concise and it is well-illustrated with not just photos but some of Hoover's early FBI charts, and posters from G-Men movies and early FBI popular propaganda. I liked the frequent asides referring readers to a particular film for a particular subject or person--for example, in the chapter discussing the rise of the American Communist Party and John Reed, it is suggested that readers watch the film "Reds"--which I thought was a great way to engage students and encourage further interest. All of Hoover's life is discussed, as it all ties in with how inextricably linked he was to his work at the FBI, including current research and conclusions on his possible homosexuality and racism, etc. Again, Aronson is fairly objective and gives his reasons for his conclusions, always citing his sources. An excellent book for anyone interested in American history

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