Young J. Edgar by Kenneth D. Ackerman
Hoover, the Red Scare, and the Assault on Civil Liberties

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Synopsis

On June 2, 1919, bombs exploded simultaneously in nine American cities. One destroyed the home of the Attorney General of the United States, A. Mitchell Palmer. In the aftermath of World War I, America faced a new enemy—radical communism.

Palmer vowed a crackdown, and, to lead it, he chose his youngest assistant, twenty-four year-old J. Edgar Hoover. Under Palmer’s wing, Hoover helped execute a series of brutal nationwide raids, bursting into homes without warning, arresting over 10,000 Americans and assembling secret files on hundreds of thousands of suspects and political enemies. A handful of lawyers like Clarence Darrow and future Supreme Court Justices Felix Frankfurter and Harlan Fisk Stone dared to defend accused radicals in the name of free speech and civil liberties.

YOUNG J. EDGAR brings to life Palmer’s raids and Hoover ’s coming of age, a metaphor on post-9/11 America. It reaches the heart of our current debate on personal freedoms in a time of war and fear.

Editorial Reviews “[F]eatures demagogues; terrorists; a gullible, xenophobic public; rogue law enforcement officials; and good guys, both in and out of government, who discredit the raids. Ackerman captures well the pathological character of the young Hoover…. “ –Publishers Weekly
 

About Kenneth D. Ackerman

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Kenneth D. Ackerman is the author ofDark Horse: The Surprise Election and Political Murder of James A. Garfield, featured on C-Span’s “Booknotes” and “BookTV” plus National Public Radio’s “All Thing’s Considered,”The Gold Ring: Wall Street’s Swindle of the Century and Its Most Scandalous Crash—Black Friday, 1869, which recounts a notorious attempt to corner the post-–Civil War gold market, andBoss Tweed: the Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York, a biography of the famous New York Tammany Hall strongman. Ackerman is a 25-year veteran of senior positions in Congress, the executive branch, and financial regulation. As Administrator of the Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency from 1993 through 2001, he headed the Federal crop insurance program that protects more than one million American farm producers. Ackerman has also served two tours on U.S. Senate staffs, first as Counsel to the Committee on Governmental Affairs (1975-–81) under then-Senator Charles H. Percy, Republican, of Illinois, and later as Special Counsel to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry (1988–93) under its then-Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat, of Vermont. During the years between, he held senior legal positions at the U. S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. In these positions, Ackerman has investigated issues ranging from the 1979–180 silver corner to the 1987 stock market crash, and developed legislation on topics from farm policy to electronic eavesdropping to civil service reform to financial market oversight. He has testified before dozens of Congressional hearings and town meetings with farmers in more than twenty states, as well as bar assciations and government officials in London, Warsaw, Vienna, Tel Aviv, and Ramallah. He was profiled in Government Executive magazine in 1997 and included by theNational Journalthat year in its “Washington 100” list of top Federal decision-makers. He currently teaches seminars on legislation and lobbying for TheCapitol.Net and serves on the board of Washington Independent Writers. A native of Albany, New York, and graduate of Brown University (1973) and the Georgetown University Law Center (1976), Ackerman practices law in Washington, D. C. and lives with his wife Karen in Falls Church, Virginia.
 
Published November 4, 2011 by Viral History Press LLC. 482 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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At first cheered by Congress and the public, the Palmer Raids gradually acquired a bad odor, thanks to abuses revealed by Clarence Darrow, Felix Frankfurter, Oliver Wendell Holmes and especially Labor Department assistant secretary Louis Post.

| Read Full Review of Young J. Edgar: Hoover, the R...

PopMatters

No, all these personalities were brought together in an archive at the Department of Justice, neatly filed into a card catalog system of substantial depth, complexity, and organization, by a 24-year-old assistant to the attorney general named John Edgar Hoover.

Jun 06 2008 | Read Full Review of Young J. Edgar: Hoover, the R...

The Moderate Voice

Edgar Hoover on Americans, the political dynamics that led to the Palmer raid’s rise and fall, the brave attorneys (some of them such as Clarence Darrow and future Supreme Court Justices Felix Frankfurte destined for judicial greatness later on) battled the raids and existing law, and how Hoover ...

Mar 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Young J. Edgar: Hoover, the R...

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