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Young J. Edgar: Hoover, the Red Scare, and the Assault on Civil Liberties

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  54 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
In 1919, when J. Edgar Hoover was 24 years old, a New York City postal clerk discovered sixteen bombs wrapped in individual packages — America's first instance of homegrown terrorism. Then-Attorney General Palmer vowed a crackdown and enlisted Hoover as his deputy. Amid the hysteria, details of abuses emerged, Palmer fell, and the rise of J. Edgar Hoover began. Hoover's dr ...more
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published May 9th 2007 by Da Capo Press (first published May 8th 2007)
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Carl Rollyson
Sep 09, 2012 Carl Rollyson rated it it was amazing
In "Young J. Edgar: Hoover, the Red Scare, and the Assault on Civil Liberties," Kenneth Ackerman plays to his strengths. He has served more than 25 years in senior posts on Capitol Hill and in the executive branch, as well as in private practice as a Washington, D.C., attorney, and the result is a chilling account of how the rule of law in a war on terror can be subverted into a war of terror.

Mr. Ackerman traces Hoover's rise from 1917 as a young attorney in the Department of Justice, to his app
Jun 15, 2013 Louise rated it it was amazing
I knew the content would be interesting and was pleasantly surprised to see the well crafted text. The paragraphs flowed from page to page and chapter to chapter. It was hard to put down. Well selected photos accompany the text and add even more understanding.

This is more than a bio of one man, it is a bio of the times. I did not know that Hoover cut his bureaucratic teeth on the Red Scare, so this book rounds out his portrait for me.

Ackerman's engaging prose brings to life the colorful people o
Dec 19, 2007 James rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Adolescents and adults
An insightful and penetrating study of the development of the character of the future director of the FBI, and his impact on American society and culture. This book avoids the focus on the question of Hoover's sexual identity and its attendant but irrelevant sensationalism of many other studies of Hoover; it also looks at the nativist bigotry of that time, which we see echoed today although aimed at different groups - Hispanic and Arabic people rather than Italians and Russians - but showing up ...more
Feb 09, 2008 Dotty rated it it was amazing
A fascinating look at the U.S. government's response to a terrorist threat in 1919. J. Edgar Hoover began to hone his skills on keeping track of people on index cards at this time. In January 1920 suspected Communists and anarchists were rounded up, often without warrants, imprisoned and threatened with deportation. In many instances the government refused to explain the charges against individuals claiming that doing so would reveal secret government sources. The good news is that there were in ...more
Jan 26, 2014 Lenny rated it it was amazing
I learned about a whole crazy time in history that I never knew about. When everyone was afraid that anyone could be a dangerous Red.
Linda Marazoni
Nov 05, 2011 Linda Marazoni rated it it was amazing
The book covers the years 1919 and 1920, when it all began (Hoover's reign). It does summarize Hoover's upbringing and his history after those years. The book is chocked full of information. I had to keep notes in order to absorb (and remember) it all.
Jan 09, 2008 Matthew rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Dan Webb
Shelves: non-fiction
A very interesting account of the early career of J. Edgar Hoover. This book offers a wonderful history of the Palmer Raids and the Red Scare. While the subject matter is compelling, the author's writing style leaves something to be desired.
Michele bookloverforever
Jun 16, 2012 Michele bookloverforever rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
well researched. well documented. surprised that then tiny Nashua,NH had over 150 leftist activists to arrest! or 60 in Manchester,NH. Apparently, NH was a socialist hotbed!
Christopher Lichtenberg
Only read the first 2 chapters. Those chapters had talked about A Mitchell Palmer. That's why I read it.
Patricia Delucia
Jun 04, 2012 Patricia Delucia rated it liked it

good concise explantion of Hoover's motivations at a young man
Aug 22, 2012 PWRL marked it as to-read
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Ken Ackerman, a writer and attorney in Washington, D.C., is a 25-year veteran of senior positions in Congress, the executive branch, and financial regulation.
More about Kenneth D. Ackerman...

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