G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century


Product Details

$45.00  $41.85
Publish Date
6.06 X 9.29 X 1.89 inches | 2.7 pounds

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About the Author

Beverly Gage is professor of 20th-century American history at Yale. She is the author of The Day Wall Street Exploded, which examined the history of terrorism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She writes frequently for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker, among other publications.


"Revelatory...an acknowledgment of the complexities that made Hoover who he was, while charging the turbulent currents that eventually swept him aside."--The New York Times

"[A] crisply written, prodigiously researched, and frequently astonishing new biography"--The New Yorker

"Masterful...This book is an enduring, formidable accomplishment, a monument to the power of biography [that] now becomes the definitive work"--The Washington Post

"Gage's penetrating account of Hoover's career, especially his many long-eclipsed triumphs, offers a well-timed and sobering perspective as yet another institution in our fractured country struggles to maintain trust." -The Atlantic

"Gage's triumph is her deft navigation through Hoover's 'deep state, ' while reminding us of the abuse of power that remains his enduring legacy."--The Boston Globe

"Gage has done a service to history with this clear-eyed portrait of a man who was, for better and for worse, very much an American of his century."--The American Scholar

"This is a monumental work about power, responsibility, and democracy itself. With deep research, an engaging voice, and penetrating insights, Beverly Gage has crafted a portrait of a man and a country in all its complexity and contradiction. To understand who we are, Gage argues, we need to understand the rise and reign of J. Edgar Hoover. And this book is now an indispensable element in the unending work of grasping the nature of our flawed nation." --Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

"Beverly Gage has created a masterwork of biography that reveals the contradictions of the American Century through a man who embodied nearly all of them. Those seeking to understand the conservative movement, American authoritarianism and backlash to progress will find much here, as will those interested in liberalism and the transformative power of government. "
--Heather McGhee, author of The Sum of Us: What Racism costs everyone and how we can prosper together

"Captivating...Nuanced, incisive, and exhaustive, this is the definitive portrait of one of 20th-century America's most consequential figures."--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"A welcome reevaluation of a law enforcement legend."--Kirkus Reviews

"An incomparable portrait of one of the most influential and reviled figures in American history. In stunning detail, Beverly Gage presents J. Edgar Hoover's complex life and career within the wider political contexts and cultural value systems that facilitated his rise to power--and his notorious, often discriminatory abuses of that power--as FBI director for nearly a half century. This extraordinary biography raises critical questions about the scope of police authority, the contours of citizenship, and the limits of democracy that strongly resonate."
-Elizabeth Hinton, author of America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s

"Good biographers know that their first obligation is to understand their subject, and only then to commend or condemn. That's long seemed impossible for J. Edgar Hoover, who shrouded himself in secrecy while publicizing the organization he led. Beverly Gage, however, has found her way, triumphantly, through Hoover's contradictions. G-Man is rigorously researched, vividly written, and, most remarkably, fair. It will long remain the definitive account."
-- John Lewis Gaddis, author of George F. Kennan: An American Life

"What hath Hoover wrought? No one has answered that question as exhaustively or as astutely as the inimitable Beverly Gage. Hoover, at long last, has met his match. G-Man is unflinching, incisive, and riveting, part biography, part political thriller, and much more: an essential new history of twentieth-century America.
--Jill Lepore, author of These Truths: A History of the United States

"Essential reading for those who care about government power and constraint--which should be all of us. In clear, accessible writing, Beverly Gage offers a thorough and fair-minded appraisal of the twentieth century's most powerful American, one whose legacy and shadow still hang over Washington. We should know this history, or be condemned to repeat it."
--James Comey, former director, FBI, and author of A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership