9 episodes

An examination, half a century on from the first director of the FBI's death in office in 1972, of how Hoover's iron grip still permeates contemporary America.

The People vs J Edgar Hoover BBC Podcasts

    • History
    • 4.5 • 2 Ratings

An examination, half a century on from the first director of the FBI's death in office in 1972, of how Hoover's iron grip still permeates contemporary America.

    Introducing The People vs J Edgar Hoover

    Introducing The People vs J Edgar Hoover

    In life, Hoover needed no introduction. In death, he needs this series teaser. Emily Maitlis tells how he built and ran the FBI and helped create today’s fears of a “deep state”.

    • 3 min
    1. The Director Will See You Now

    1. The Director Will See You Now

    Emily Maitlis on the ascent to power of the man who made presidents wait. J Edgar Hoover built then ran the FBI for almost five decades. He turned it from a bureaucratic backwater into a premier crime fighting and counterintelligence force. In the process, he arguably became America’s most powerful man. He’s been dead 50 years and still his shadow looms over the US. Today’s fears of a ‘deep state’ - of unaccountable government officials working against the public in their own interest – can be traced back to him. In the first of an 8-part series, Emily shows how though his job was to enforce the law...he would not always be bound by it.
    Producer: Neal Razzell
    Research: Louise Byrne
    Editor: Hugh Levinson
    Production Coordinator: Janet Staples
    Sound: Tom Brignell

    • 14 min
    2. G-Men

    2. G-Men

    Hoover takes on legendary gangsters of the 1930s and builds his own myth. J Edgar Hoover built then ran the FBI for almost five decades. He turned it from a bureaucratic backwater into a premier crime fighting and counterintelligence force. In the process, he arguably became America’s most powerful man. He’s been dead 50 years and still his shadow looms over the US. Today’s fears of a ‘deep state’ - of unaccountable government officials working against the public in their own interest – can be traced back to him. His job was to enforce the law...but he would not always be bound by it.
    Presenter: Emily Maitlis
    Producer: Neal Razzell
    Researcher: Louise Byrne
    Production Coordinator: Janet Staples
    Sound: James Beard
    Editor: Hugh Levinson

    • 14 min
    3. Infamy

    3. Infamy

    The Japanese attack Pearl Harbor creates an awkward moment for the domestic intelligence chief. J Edgar Hoover built then ran the FBI for almost five decades. He turned it from a bureaucratic backwater into a premier crime fighting and counterintelligence force. In the process, he arguably became America’s most powerful man. He’s been dead 50 years and still his shadow looms over the US. Today’s fears of a ‘deep state’ - of unaccountable government officials working against the public in their own interest – can be traced back to him. His job was to enforce the law...but he would not always be bound by it.
    Presenter: Emily Maitlis
    Producer: Neal Razzell
    Researcher: Louise Byrne
    Production Coordinator: Janet Staples
    Sound: James Beard
    Editor: Hugh Levinson

    • 14 min
    4. Witches

    4. Witches

    Hoover fans paranoia as his spy machine goes after Communists - real and imagined. J Edgar Hoover built then ran the FBI for almost five decades. He turned it from a bureaucratic backwater into a premier crime fighting and counterintelligence force. In the process, he arguably became America’s most powerful man. He’s been dead 50 years and still his shadow looms over the US. Today’s fears of a ‘deep state’ - of unaccountable government officials working against the public in their own interest – can be traced back to him. In the first of an 8-part series, Emily shows how though his job was to enforce the law...he would not always be bound by it.
    Producer: Neal Razzell
    Research: Louise Byrne
    Editor: Hugh Levinson
    Production Coordinator: Janet Staples
    Sound: Tom Brignell

    • 14 min
    5. "The Most Notorious Liar in the Country”

    5. "The Most Notorious Liar in the Country”

    Martin Luther King Jr crosses Hoover's radar. It doesn't end well.

    J Edgar Hoover built then ran the FBI for almost five decades. He turned it from a bureaucratic backwater into a premier crime fighting and counterintelligence force. In the process, he arguably became America’s most powerful man. He’s been dead 50 years and still his shadow looms over the US. Today’s fears of a ‘deep state’ - of unaccountable government officials working against the public in their own interest – can be traced back to him. In this 8-part series, Emily Maitlis shows how though his job was to enforce the law...he would not always be bound by it.

    Producer: Neal Razzell
    Research: Louise Byrne
    Editor: Hugh Levinson
    Production Coordinator: Janet Staples
    Sound: Tom Brignell

    • 13 min

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