American Experience (1988– )
6.7/10
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G-Men: The Rise of J. Edgar Hoover 

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David McCullough ...
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18 November 1991 (USA)  »

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It's not bad but also rather incomplete...
17 October 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

It's obvious that the folks making this edition of "The American Experience" didn't like J. Edgar Hoover....and who did?! But I wonder if maybe the show would have been a lot different had it been made today--now that allegations of cross-dressing and homosexuality had come to light. The hypocrisy of Hoover might have made for some interesting speculation--as well as whether these salacious reports are true.

The show is about Hoover, but mostly focuses on his earlier years. It paints a picture of a guy who is lucky and also who cultivated his own image because he was a master of PR. He also was a man who, according to the show, couldn't allow other FBI agents to rival him in popularity.

The show has one big problem--even without the weird recent allegations of Hoover's private life, the show never really talks about him as a PERSON--just as a PR-loving guy with a streak of paranoia. While this is certainly true, it's also a bit one dimensional. As a result, I actually think this is one of the weaker Hoover biographies-- something usual for "The American Experience".


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