Alicia's Reviews > Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies

Master of Deceit by Marc Aronson
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's review
Dec 27, 2011

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bookshelves: dysfunctional, historical, nonfiction, politics
Read from December 27 to 28, 2011

Highly provocative, Aronson discusses how J. Edgar Hoover is both a hero and anti-hero. The book is actually best summed up in Aronson's last words "I hope Masters of Deceit shows that we must always question both the heroes we favor and the enemies we hate. We must remain openminded, even when the shadow of fear freezes our hearts." Learning about the 1940s through the present from the creation of the FBI, to Hoover's life as the head of the FBI (including his creation of databases before their were computers) is fascinating. The intersection of Hoover's life, the Communist threats, and the fear of a nation is food for thought about how the United States reacted after 9/11 or to any perceived threat. The book takes the reader up to 9/11 and how the government rounded up people from Muslim countries or with Arabic sounding names. It also tells the tale of media and how media (or the people behind it) do control public thought and opinion if we let it, everything from Hoover's perceived homosexuality or well-groomed outfits to how a story of a captured fugitive actually occured.

Well worth reading.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Julie (new)

Julie Suzanne I swam around in these ideas when reading Kingsolver's The Lacuna, too. I recommend it as a supplementary fiction piece to this one. :)

Alicia I'll definitely add it to my to-read pile! How are you? We'll have to catch up soon!

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