Beverly Gage: G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century Book Event
May 21, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm| Free
Please join us to welcome award-winning Yale historian Beverly Gage, author of the landmark new book G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century, to Congressional Cemetery on Sunday, May 21 at 1:00 PM. At Hoover’s graveside, Gage will speak on the life and historical legacy of lifelong DC resident J. Edgar Hoover, followed by a Q&A and a book signing with the author. Remarks will begin promptly at 1:00 PM and limited seating at the graveside is available on a first come, first served basis. The event is rain or shine and beverages will be available for purchase. In addition, complimentary docent led tours will be offered at the conclusion of the Q&A session. In the event of severe weather, remarks will take place inside our historic chapel.
To attend the event, simply arrive at our front gate at the corner of Potomac Ave. and E St. and you will be directed to the event area. City street parking is available and we are a short walk away from the Potomac Avenue and Stadium Armory Metro stations
Smoking is prohibited and no dogs are allowed at the event.
The event is free to attend but we ask that you please RSVP HERE.
Special thanks to J. Stephen Morrison, Senior Vice President at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, (CSIS), longtime Capitol Hill resident and K9 Corps Member. He was instrumental in helping conceive, plan and organize the event.
About the Book:
“A nuanced portrait in a league with the best of Ron Chernow and David McCullough”—The Wall Street Journal
“Masterful…This book is an enduring, formidable accomplishment, a monument to the power of biography [that] now becomes the definitive work”—The Washington Post
“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
The New York Times “TOP 100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2022”
The Atlantic “Top 10 Books of the Year”
The Washington Post “Top Ten Books of 2022”
A major new biography of J Edgar Hoover that draws from never-before-seen sources to create a groundbreaking portrait of a colossus who dominated half a century of American history and planted the seeds for much of today’s conservative political landscape.
We remember him as a bulldog–squat frame, bulging wide-set eyes, fearsome jowls–but in 1924, when he became director of the FBI, he had been the trim, dazzling wunderkind of the administrative state, buzzing with energy and big ideas for reform. He transformed a failing law-enforcement backwater, riddled with scandal, into a modern machine. He believed in the power of the federal government to do great things for the nation and its citizens. He also believed that certain people–many of them communists or racial minorities or both– did not deserve to be included in that American project. Hoover rose to power and then stayed there, decade after decade, using the tools of state to create a personal fiefdom unrivaled in U.S. history.
Beverly Gage’s monumental work explores the full sweep of Hoover’s life and career, from his birth in 1895 to a modest Washington civil-service family through his death in 1972. In her nuanced and definitive portrait, Gage shows how Hoover was more than a one-dimensional tyrant and schemer who strong-armed the rest of the country into submission. As FBI director from 1924 through his death in 1972, he was a confidant, counselor, and adversary to eight U.S. presidents, four Republicans and four Democrats. Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson did the most to empower him, yet his closest friend among the eight was fellow anticommunist warrior Richard Nixon. Hoover was not above blackmail and intimidation, but he also embodied conservative values ranging from anticommunism to white supremacy to a crusading and politicized interpretation of Christianity. This garnered him the admiration of millions of Americans. He stayed in office for so long because many people, from the highest reaches of government down to the grassroots, wanted him there and supported what he was doing, thus creating the template that the political right has followed to transform its party.
G-Man places Hoover back where he once stood in American political history–not at the fringes, but at the center–and uses his story to explain the trajectories of governance, policing, race, ideology, political culture, and federal power as they evolved over the course of the 20th century.
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