“Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the age of lies” Marc Aronson

Candlewick Press, 2012. Hardcover. 230 pp.

Aronson did an excellent job researching and presenting both fact and fiction related to the life of J. Edgar Hoover, the political pulse of the times, and his manipulations of the F.B.I. As I read, it was clear to see how J. Edgar twisted the Bureau to act towards his own diabolical beliefs whether or not it was contrary to the laws of the land.

Everything he did was cleverly disguised under the guise of protecting America from those seeking to harm her, which raises the question of how far Americans are willing to go in the name of freedom while withholding the freedoms of others. Aronson’s clear writings and period photographs make a compelling case for those of us who call ourselves Americans to really think about what fear can do to a nation, and how the government’s actions during those times may cause more harm than good.

Aronson includes excellent endnotes, a bibliography and index as well as an explanation of why he chose to write the book. “Master of Deceit” is an excellent read, with much food for thought, and should be part of every high school and public library’s collection. I wouldn’t be surprised if “Master of Deceit” won YALSA’s Award for Excellent in Nonfiction for Young Adults in 2013. Just remember – you heard it first right here. Awards will be announced at the ALA (American Library Association’s) midwinter meeting in January 2013. Stay tuned.

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