"King, there is only one thing left for you to do.... Take it before your filthy, abnormal, fraudulent self is bared to the nation."
Dr. Martin Luther King received this demand in an anonymous letter in 1964. He believed that the letter was telling him to commit suicide. Who wrote this anonymous letter? Most likely William Sullivan, an assistant director of the FBI. Who was Sullivan trying to impress in his campaign against King? J. Edgar Hoover.
In this unsparing exploration of one of the most powerful Americans of the 20th century, accomplished historian Marc Aronson unmasks the man behind the Bureau: his tangled family history and personal relationships; his own need for secrecy, deceit, and control; and the broad trends in American society that shaped his world. Hoover may have given America the security it wanted, but the secrets he knew gave him—and the Bureau—all the power he wanted.
Master of Deceit challenges listeners to explore Hoover and his secrets. Was Hoover a protector of America or a betrayer of its principles? What is the price of security? Here is a book about the 20th century that blazes with questions and insights about our choices in the 21st.
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
This book was a lot shorter than I originally thought it would be, and wasn't very comprehensive. I tend to prefer historical works that provide a lot more details, and "inside information" that this book didn't provide.
What do you think your next listen will be?
I have a full wishlist, and have already listened to several books since this one.
What about Luke Daniels’s performance did you like?
He did a great job and has a good reading voice.
Do you think Master of Deceit needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
I think Master of Deceit needs to be expanded, with a lot more inside information added.
Any additional comments?
At one point in the book, the author took personal liberties that seem to be unsupported by evidence yet the author claims things as fact that simply cannot be proven nor disproven according to other authors on the same topic. It seems that a few of the items in the book were the author's opinion, yet he claims them as fact which I dislike.
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Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
It was written with elegance, from the heart. I trusted that the author was seeking truth no matter where it led him.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I'd have to call it a tie between the author and J. Edgar Hoover.
Which scene was your favorite?
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The acknowledgements. No, I'm serious.
Any additional comments?
I picked this up because I wanted to get insight into Hoover for my own research into the JFK Assassination. In fact, there is very little here about JFK and what there is I believe is vague and pretty much off the mark. Normally, this would be the kiss of death and immediately make the book suspect in my eyes but not this time. The author's integrity and honesty, not to mention his many fresh insights (okay not about Kennedy), and most especially his ability to interject his personal thoughts and feelings (not too much and always at appropriate times), lifted the book above what I had expected and made listening to this well worth the time.
P.S. The narration was wonderful!
I recognize the stories from other books I've read on J. Edgar, this story was somehow both overdone and dry.