Presidents yearned to fire him but feared his storehouse of damaging secrets. Public officials and private citizens feared his illegal surveillance & harassment tactics. In this ground-breaking, at times shocking biography, J. Edgar Hoover, the man who ruled as Director of the FBI for nearly fifty years, emerges as one of the greatest menaces of our times.

This book, by award-winning investigative journalist Anthony Summers, is the first to expose the public – and the private – J. Edgar Hoover. After conducting over eight hundred interviews and obtaining access to previously concealed documents, Summers paints a chilling portrait of a figure who blatantly abused the public trust.

● Hoover, Summers establishes, was apparently a closet homosexual     and possibly a transvestite. Mafia bosses obtained information             about his sex life and used it to keep the FBI at bay. Without this,         the Mafia might never have gained its hold in America.
● Hoover shamelessly accepted gifts and free lodging from                       millionaire oilmen, and appropriated FBI facilities for personal use.
● By ignoring an early warning about Pearl Harbor. Hoover may have      influenced the course of World War II.
● Hoover used his knowledge of JFK's womanizing to ensure that LBJ       became Vice President. He subverted the Warren Commission's           probe into Kennedy’s death.

With these and other disclosures, Summers defines a man and his times. Here is a lesson in how one man was able to abuse his position of power and change the course of American history.


AMAZON (U.S Edition)
AMAZON (U.K Edition)

Praise for
Official & Confidential

“An important book that should give us all pause, especially policy makers”
Philadelphia Inquirer

“Summers’ case against Hoover is overwhelming”  
Christian Science Monitor

"Anthony Summers' exposé provides an important national service. It should be read by all Americans..."

                                        Alan M. Dershowitz, author of Reversal of Fortune

"Summers' book is not just a history of a single hero-sized hypocrite, it is a history of a vast national delusion."

                                                                                                               The Spectator

"Epic biography"

                                                                                                                   Denver Post

"The Secret File on J. Edgar Hoover", a documentary, produced by William Cran and Stephanie Tepper for PBS' Frontline and BBC's Timewatch


The person principally cited on the alleged cross-dressing is Susan Rosenstiel, a former wife of Lewis Rosenstiel, a millionaire distiller with close links to organized crime - and longtime Hoover associate who contributed $1,000,000 to the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation. Those who suggest the former wife's cross-dressing claim is not credible raise the fact that she pled guilty in 1971 to attempted perjury. I was aware of that, reported it in the original edition of my book Official and Confidential - and explained the circumstances. 

The charge was brought in connection with a civil suit and - I was told by New York State Legislative Committee on Crime interviewees - was thought by them to be unprecedented and bizarre. Noting that the charge was brought the very week the Committee intended to produce Susan Rosenstiel as a witness to her former husband's Mafia links, Committee sources said they thought the charge was instigated by Lewis in an effort to discredit his former wife and thus obstruct the Committee's inquiry. Court records showed that Lewis Rosentiel had used similar tactics to obstruct the course of justice in the past.

New York Judge Edward McLaughlin, former Chief Counsel of the Crime Committee, and Committee investigator William Gallinaro, told me Mrs Rosentiel had been an excellent witness. "I thought her absolutely truthful," said Judge McLauglin. Almost no one, moreover, noted that an account of alleged cross-dressing - similar to Mrs Rosentiel's - came to me from two other interviewees, referring to a different location and a different timeframe. 

I note, finally, that the cross-dressing allegation is one passage in a biography of some 600 pages. The overall reporting on Hoover’s sexuality is pertinent to any study of the man, not least in the context of his insistence on the ruthless pursuit of homosexuals. It is one element in the evidence of Hoover's overall abuse of Americans' rights and freedoms.

Vanity Fair, March 1993