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January 6, 2012
J. Edgar Hoover’s Brief Career at Library of Congress to Be Discussed
Based on Book “Young J. Edgar” by Kenneth D. Ackerman
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, 24-year-old J. Edgar Hoover. Under Palmer’s wing, Hoover helped execute a series of nationwide raids, bursting into homes without warning, arresting more than 10,000 Americans and assembling secret files on hundreds of thousands of suspects and political enemies.
Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Hoover worked at the Library of Congress. His four-year (1913-1917) career at the Library is touched on in Clint Eastwood’s latest film, "J. Edgar."
"Young J. Edgar: Hoover, the Red Scare and the Assault on Civil Liberties" (Carroll & Graf, 2007) brings to life Palmer’s raids and Hoover’s coming of age, and it speaks to the current debate on personal freedom in a time of war and fear. The author of "Young J. Edgar," Kenneth D. Ackerman, will discuss and sign his book on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at noon in the West Dining Room, located sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event, sponsored by the Center for the Book as part of its Books & Beyond author series, is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.
Kenneth Ackerman is a writer and attorney in Washington, and a veteran of senior positions in Congress, the executive branch, financial regulation and private law. His previous books are "Boss Tweed: The Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York," "Dark Horse: The Surprise Election and Political Murder of James A. Garfield" and "The Gold Ring: Jim Fisk, Jay Gould and Black Friday, 1869."
Ackerman’s book is also the subject of a discussion on Facebook. The Books & Beyond Book Club is available at www.facebook.com/booksandbeyond/. Here readers can discuss books, the authors of which have appeared or will appear in this series. The site also offers links to webcasts of these events and asks readers to talk about what they have seen and heard.
Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (www.Read.gov/cfb/) has become a major national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for 52 affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading-promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s www.Read.gov website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center.
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