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About The Book

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography 2023
Winner of the 2022 National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography

Winner of the 2023 Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy
Winner of the American History Book Prize
Shortlisted for the 2023 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography
Longlisted for the CWA ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction

When he became director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover transformed a failing law-enforcement backwater into a modern machine. He stayed in power for decades, and created a personal fiefdom unrivalled in US history.

In this masterful, multi-award-winning biography, Beverley Gage explores the full sweep of Hoover’s life and career. In Gage’s portrait, Hoover was a man admired by millions, but was also a formidable public figure who intimidated his enemies, excluded minorities from his great American project and created the foundations of the US far right.

G-Man is a dramatic portrait of one of America’s most influential – and controversial – public figures. It is also an engrossing story of the making of modern America.

'Revelatory' New York Times

'Astonishing' The New Yorker

'Masterful…This book is an enduring, formidable accomplishment, a monument to the power of biography [that] now becomes the definitive work' The Washington Post

About The Author

Beverly Gage is professor of 20th-century American history at Yale. She is the author of The Day Wall Street Exploded, which examined the history of terrorism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She writes for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times Magazine, and the New Yorker, among other publications.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (June 4, 2024)
  • Length: 864 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781849832854

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Raves and Reviews

‘Captivating. Nuanced, incisive, and exhaustive, this is the definitive portrait of one of 20th-century America’s most consequential figures’

– Publishers Weekly

“This is a monumental work about power, responsibility, and democracy itself. With deep research, an engaging voice, and penetrating insights, Beverly Gage has crafted a portrait of a man and a country in all its complexity and contradiction. To understand who we are, Gage argues, we need to understand the rise and reign of J. Edgar Hoover. And this book is now an indispensable element in the unending work of grasping the nature of our flawed nation.”

– Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

‘Masterful . . . an enduring, formidable accomplishment, a monument to the power of biography’

– Washington Post

"Beverly Gage has created a masterwork of biography that reveals the contradictions of the American Century through a man who embodied nearly all of them. Those seeking to understand the conservative movement, American authoritarianism and backlash to progress will find much here, as will those interested in liberalism and the transformative power of government."

– Heather McGhee, author of The Sum of Us: What Racism costs everyone and how we can prosper together

“An incomparable portrait of one of the most influential and reviled figures in American history. In stunning detail, Beverly Gage presents J. Edgar Hoover’s complex life and career within the wider political contexts and cultural value systems that facilitated his rise to power—and his notorious, often discriminatory abuses of that power—as FBI director for nearly a half century. This extraordinary biography raises critical questions about the scope of police authority, the contours of citizenship, and the limits of democracy that strongly resonate."

– Elizabeth Hinton, author of America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s

"Good biographers know that their first obligation is to understand their subject, and only then to commend or condemn. That's long seemed impossible for J. Edgar Hoover, who shrouded himself in secrecy while publicizing the organization he led. Beverly Gage, however, has found her way, triumphantly, through Hoover's contradictions. G-Man is rigorously researched, vividly written, and, most remarkably, fair. It will long remain the definitive account.”

– John Lewis Gaddis, author of George F. Kennan: An American Life

“What hath Hoover wrought? No one has answered that question as exhaustively or as astutely as the inimitable Beverly Gage. Hoover, at long last, has met his match. G-Man is unflinching, incisive, and riveting, part biography, part political thriller, and much more: an essential new history of twentieth-century America."

– Jill Lepore, author of These Truths: A History of the United States

“Essential reading for those who care about government power and constraint—which should be all of us. In clear, accessible writing, Beverly Gage offers a thorough and fair-minded appraisal of the twentieth century's most powerful American, one whose legacy and shadow still hang over Washington. We should know this history, or be condemned to repeat it."

– James Comey, former director, FBI, and author of A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership

‘Crisply written, prodigiously researched, and frequently astonishing’

– New Yorker

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