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Publisher's Summary

Richard Hack separates truth from fiction to reveal the most hidden secrets of Hoover's private life and expose his previously undisclosed conduct and actions which threatened to compromise the security of the entire nation.
Based on freshly uncovered files and personal documents as well as over 100,000 pages of FBI memos and State Department papers, Hack rips the lid off the FBI Director's facade of propriety to detail a life replete with sexual indiscretions, criminal behavior and a long-standing alliance with the Mafia.
©2004 Richard Hack (P)2004, 2014 Dove Audio, Phoenix Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Jean on 08-24-14

Power corrupts

As with his biographies of Howard Hughes (Hughes) and Ted Turner/Rupert Murdock (Clash of the Titans), Richard Hack brings a novelist’s flair for drama and a journalist’s nose for truth to the life of J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover was the Director of the FBI for more than fifty years; he served nine different Presidents and sixteen Attorney Generals. The book is well-written and meticulously researched even thorough it does not reveal any new findings. The author attempts to keep this a balanced and impartial look at the facts. He covers Hoover’s life from childhood and his relationship with his mother to establishing the FBI to his death.

Hack’s most controversial conclusion about Hoover’s private life is that despite his weird intimacy with sidekick Clyde Tolson, and his household collection of male nudes and Chinese Ceramics, Hoover was not gay. I think you need to read the book and evaluate the facts, as the author presents them and make up your own mind on how to interpret the stated facts. The author goes into detail how Hoover set up the organization of the FBI but does not go into deal of its operation. Hack includes the headline-grabbing pursuit of Depression-era outlaws to his post-war crusade against left wing subversion. The author says little about the FBI as an institution or its crime fight methods. Over all he portrays Hoover as an intelligent, highly organized, determined , energetic, lonely and insecure man who comes off here as much as a puppet as master. Hack reveals Hoover as a consummate bureaucratic infighter aware of his vulnerabilities to shifts in political power.

The book was originally published in 2004 and republished again in 2007. The audio book was re-mastered into digital format. Dan Cashman did a good job narrating the book.

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7 of 9 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Stephen on 11-12-14

Author seems to have an axe to grind here

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

The author's name is hack and it applies here. Granted J. Edgar Hoover was a complicated and controversial person. I think anyone that was in public life and wielded that much power probably would be. But this author choose to mostly highlight the negative and used much creative license and assumptions to do so. Most all the stories he recites here involve controversial figures from the left wing to some that are downright wing nuts.

Shame as the performance was top notch and the story and history here is amazing.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not sure yet

What about Dan Cashman’s performance did you like?

Fantastic performance

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


Any additional comments?


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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By michael roberts on 04-03-15


What disappointed you about Puppetmaster?

Too much irrelevant detail; not enough detail on any of the key incidents and events in which he was intimately involved - especially post the Kennedy assassination but also the relationship with organised crime. A very limited insight into his life influences and what may have influenced his thinking about key episodes in the history of the FBI

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

See above

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Dan Cashman?

Not able to comment as I do not know the choices and a number of other factors.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It could be abbreviated to give a general overview of a timeline.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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