90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Real J. Edgar Hoover

With Anthony Brooks in for Tom Ashbrook

Leonardo DiCaprio brings J. Edgar Hoover to life on the big screen. We’ll look at the FBI’s real J. Edgar, and his lessons.

F.B.I. director J. Edgar Hoover is seen in his Washington office, date unknown. (AP)

F.B.I. director J. Edgar Hoover is seen in his Washington office, date unknown. (AP)

J. Edgar is Clint Eastwood’s new movie about the man who built and ran the F.B.I. for almost four decades. For most of those years the FBI WAS J. Edgar Hoover – who made the bureau into a powerful national police force, and took down notorious bank robbers with names like Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde.

But Hoover was also a man of dirty tricks and secret lists who kept his grip on power by threatening anyone who got in his way, including subversives, critics and Presidents.

This hour, On Point: J. Edgar Hoover; still with us.

-Anthony Brooks

Guests

Kenneth Ackerman, author, historian, and practicing attorney. He’s the author of Young J. Edgar: Hoover and the Red Scare, 1919-1920.

Douglas Charles, Assistant Professor of history at Penn State Greater Allegheny. He’s the author of J. Edgar Hoover and the Anti-interventionists: FBI Political Surveillance and the Rise of the Domestic Security State, 1939-45.

Cartha Deloach, served as a deputy director of the FBI from 1965-1970. Author of Hoover’s FBI: The Inside Story by Hoover’s Trusted Lieutenant.

From The Reading List

The New Yorker “Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” is, of all things, a portrait of a soul. The movie is a nuanced account of J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio) as a sympathetic monster, a compound of intelligence, repression, and misery—a man whose inner turmoil, tamed and sharpened, irrupts in authoritarian fervor. Eastwood and the screenwriter Dustin Lance Black have re-created that period in the nineteen-twenties and thirties when a righteous young man with a stentorian style could electrify a nation. Outraged by scattered bomb plots and shifting values—what seems to him the moral chaos of modern life—Hoover senses that Americans need safety, or, at least, the illusion of safety, and he becomes the vessel of their protection, exercising and justifying, with ironclad rhetoric, his own dominance.”

Time “He virtually invented the FBI and its predecessor the Bureau of Investigation, bringing forensic science into the modern age and, with the 10 Most Wanted list in every post office, luring the citizen into the crime-stopping process. He oversaw the men who brought down John Dillinger and arrested Lindbergh baby killer Bruno Hauptmann. ”

The L.A. Times “In February 1970, a top aide to President Nixon warned J. Edgar Hoover that a new reporter in town, Jack Nelson, was said to be gunning for theFBI.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

from “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 30, 2014
Soylent is a new meal-replacement substance meant to offer a complete nutritional alternative to traditional food. (Courtesy Soylent)

Soylent is a grey smoothie the consistency of pancake batter that claims it can replace all your food. On a crowded planet, is this the future of food? Plus: what does the Antares rocket crash mean for private space travel?

 
Oct 30, 2014
Realtor Helen Hertz stands in front of one of her listings in Cleveland Heights, Ohio Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Hertz, a real estate agent for more than three decades, has seen firsthand what has happened to the market in the wake of the recession and foreclosure crisis. (AP)

Home ownership rates are at a 20-year low. Millennials and more aren’t buying. We’ll look at what American’s think now about owning a home.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
A Bit More On The History Of Quarantine
Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

So this whole quarantine thing — why to do it, when to do it, and when to just say no.

More »
Comment
 
The Explicast, Episode Two: Why Is Election Day On A Tuesday?
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

The Explicast is back for another round. This time, we’re looking at Election Day, and why we all keep voting on a random Tuesday in early November.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: October 24, 2014
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

On comments, comment sections, and ROY G BIV.

More »
Comment