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The Director  By  cover art

The Director

By: Paul Letersky,Gordon L. Dillow - contributor
Narrated by: Pete Simonelli
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Publisher's Summary

The first book ever written about FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover by a member of his personal staff - his former assistant, Paul Letersky - offers unprecedented, “clear-eyed and compelling” (Mark Olshaker, coauthor of Mindhunter) insight into an American legend.

The 1960s and 1970s were arguably among America’s most turbulent post-Civil War decades. While the Vietnam War continued seemingly without end, protests and riots ravaged most cities, the Kennedys and MLK were assassinated, and corruption found its way to the highest levels of politics, culminating in Watergate.

In 1965, at the beginning of the chaos, twenty-two-year-old Paul Letersky was assigned to assist the legendary FBI director J. Edgar Hoover who’d just turned 70 and had, by then, led the Bureau for an incredible forty-one years. Hoover was a rare and complex man who walked confidently among the most powerful. His personal privacy was more tightly guarded than the secret “files” he carefully collected - and that were so feared by politicians and celebrities. Through Letersky’s close working relationship with Hoover, and the trust and confidence he gained from Hoover’s most loyal senior assistant, Helen Gandy, Paul became one of the few able to enter the Director’s secretive - and sometimes perilous - world.

Since Hoover’s death half a century ago, millions of words have been written about the man and hundreds of hours of TV dramas and A-list Hollywood films produced. But until now, there has been virtually no account from someone who, for a period of years, spent hours with the Director on a daily basis.

Balanced, honest, and keenly observed, thisvivid, foibles-and-all portrait of the fabled scourge of gangsters, Klansmen, and communists” (The Wall Street Journal) sheds new light on one of the most powerful law enforcement figures in American history.

©2021 Paul R. Letersky. All rights reserved (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved

What listeners say about The Director

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Honest Account

My knowledge of J.E. Hoover before reading this book was derived from s PBS documentary I watched many years ago. This was a much better and more interesting account of the man and the FBI. Great read and narration, very interesting from beginning to end.You'll love it.

1 person found this helpful

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Good listen

I heard about this book through a podcast, FBI Retired Case File Review. It was a good listen. I appreciated the attention he gave to Ms. Gandy. Even though the FBI didn’t allow female special agents through Hoover’s time as head of the FBI, the FBI would have not functioned as well without her and many others assistance.
I know some reviewers are disappointed that the author didn’t vilify Hoover. Was he perfect? No. Was he pure evil? No. Take it for what it is. One man’s memory of working in the FBI under Hoover’s tenure and

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Don’t waste your time

With all we now know about Hoover this is a biased overly positive account. Glosses over so many know. Stories.

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Thank you for my new thoughts about Mr. Hoover

It's so refreshing to hear someone remind others that it's important to be familiar with the era in which things occurred AND that so many others have been forgiven for their discretions and even criminal acts, that to deny this to a man who devoted his life to public service is simply unjustified and unacceptable. Much appreciation!

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interesting read

This was a very interesting book to listen to it really gives you an inside look at the FBI and what they really do or how they really got started back in the day.

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Good listen

Good view of the Hoover FBI by an insider.

Good insight into the the
Narration was stellar as well.

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  • 11-14-21

A badly needed first-person, insider account...

Some of the negative reviews here prove the point that this book is a badly needed first-person, insider account of the real J. Edgar Hoover. Along with Hoover's FBI-The Inside Story by Hoover's Trusted Lieutenant, by Cartha D. DeLoach, The Director-My Years Assisting J. Edgar Hoover helps to set the record straight and separate fact from the often-outrageous fiction that has enveloped Hoover since his death. Hoover is revealed as a conservative perfectionist who made mistakes, but who turned the F.B.I. into the preeminent investigative agency in the world through tough standards and close management. It will come as sour news to Hoover-haters that, in large part, he protected the Bureau from forces both within and without which sought to mire the Bureau in sordid politics, and that the mistakes he made were influenced by his lifelong investigations of Soviet communism. Nor was he a crossdressing gay or racist.

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Seriously??????

Absolutely one sided and biased account of the FBI and Hoover. Don't waste your time on this junk. The author does not get into well known and public record details. I'm returning this fiction to audible.

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Puff piece about the FBI

This is a poor review of Hoover and the FBI. Hoover was an evil despot and his leadership was a challenge to democracy and the rule of law.

Save your time and money on this pulp fiction account.