Hoover-Behind the Music


former FBI Special Agent Paul Letersky to discuss his forthcoming book, a behind-the-scenes look into the office of J. Edgar Hoover—the first ever written by a member of his personal staff. THE DIRECTOR: My Years Assisting J. Edgar Hoover is a first person account of working inside J. Edgar Hoover’s office as he chased the left-wing extremists of the 1960’s and 70’s. It should also serve as a warning against letting history repeat itself.

I am booking interviews starting the week of July 13th.

Few people knew the real J. Edgar Hoover. He was a man of secrets who, over time, became one of the most powerful figures in the country. He influenced Presidents, eviscerated the KKK and went to war with Communism in America.

What would Hoover think of the FBI today?

Paul Letersky began working for Director Hoover in 1965 and had a front-row seat to the comings-and-goings of Hoover’s personal office at the height of one of the most turbulent decades since the Civil War. The Director showcases the dedication of history’s longest serving FBI director, including:

– The animosity felt by Hoover towards Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the comments made by Hoover on first hearing of Dr. King’s shooting from Letersky.

– A deeply personal look at Hoover’s longtime assistant Helen Gandy, the highest paid woman at the DOJ in the 1970’s and considered to be Hoover’s most trusted confidant.

– The effectiveness of the FBI’s “COINTELPRO” programs—black bag projects from 1956-1971 aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, sowing discord and discrediting American organizations.

– How “COINTELPRO” targeted groups as disparate as the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Panther Party, as well as civil rights leaders like Dr. King and influential public anti-war figures like John Lennon.

Since Hoover’s death half a century ago, millions of words have been written about the man and hundreds of hours of TV dramas. 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.



“A fascinating and long overdue look, from the inner sanctum… Paul Letersky takes you deep inside the psyche of the man who knew all the secrets and played them like a card shark.”

—Tom Brokaw of NBC News and bestselling author of The Greatest Generation

“Letersky is a fine writer and storyteller and he told me things I never knew about the man—love him or hate him—who was a major figure in American history.”

—Bob Schieffer of CBS News

“Fascinating and engaging… Letersky brings to life a bygone era of G-Men, galoots, and molls—and, delightfully, Hoover’s motherly gatekeeper “Miss Gandy,” who plays Moneypenny to the author’s Bond.”

—Chris Whipple, New York Times bestselling author of The Gatekeepers and The Spymasters

“I entered the FBI under Mr. Hoover who turned out to be the best Director I served under… This book is an honest and accurate portrayal of Hoover’s personality and acts of kindness as well as the control he had over not just the FBI but politicians. A must read.”

—Joe Pistone AKA Donnie Brasco, former FBI Special Agent


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