G-Men: Hoover's FBI in American Popular Culture

4.67 avg rating
( 3 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780809310968: G-Men: Hoover's FBI in American Popular Culture

Calling the Police! Calling the G-Men! Calling all Americans to War on the Underworld” was the sign-on of the first radio pro­gram to portray the agents of the FBI as action heroes. Thus began the remarkable collaboration between the government agency and the merchants of popular culture that was to continue for over forty years.

 

In G-Men Richard Gid Powers explores the cultural forces that permitted the rise and fostered the fall of the nation’s secret police as national heroes. He examines popular attitudes toward crime from the standpoint of functionalist (Durkheimian) theory and surveys the FBI’s image in popular entertainment from the thirties to the recent Today’s FBI” as a vicarious ritual of national soli­darity to explain the popularity of the action detective formula. Soundly based on extensive research and interviews, the book pro­vides an account of how the FBI and the mass entertainment indus­try were able to transform the bureau and its biggest cases into popular mythology.

 

Hoover and his FBI became national heroes through identifi­cation with the action detective hero of crime entertainment. Hoover’s popular culture role made him and his bureau sacrosanct symbols of national pride and unity, but in turn made it very diffi­cult for them to do anything that would not conform to the public’s preconceptions about action heroes. Powers shows that the dy­namics of popular culture are integral to an explanation of the collapse of the bureau’s reputation following Hoover’s death. Had Hoover and the popularizers of the FBI not attempted to turn the popular culture G-Man into an embodiment of traditional Ameri­can virtues, the illegal activities that came to light following Hoover’s death would have been excused as inconsequential in the larger context of a hard-boiled War on the Underworld.”

 

G-Men examines a classic case of the manipulation of popular culture for political power. Seldom in American culture has such manipulation been so successful. As Powers states: At the same time Hoover was casting his shadow over American public life his G-Men were the stars of movies, radio adventures, comics, pulp magazines, television series, even bubble gum cards.” But he finds that Hoover far from controlling his own destiny and the power of the agency he had built was created, shaped, and then destroyed by the dynamics of popular culture and the public expectations it generated.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Richard Gid Powers is in the American Studies Department at the College of Staten Island. He has edited six volumes of the Gregg Press series of science fiction and is editor of Popular Culture Interna­tional. In a commentary on Powers’ article, J. Edgar Hoover and the Detective Hero” published in the Washington Post in 1976, Nich­olas von Hoffman wrote: Powers is the first one to document the man’s (Hoover’s) invasion of popular mythology by melding himself and the bureau to fiction.”

Review:

Powers does a first-rate job of chart­ing the F.B.I’s image and its image-making before World War II. He has carefully studied the most arcane cultural ephemera (many examples of which appear in illustrations). Powers has made a good start at trac­ing how a secret police force and its mendacious director managed to be­come objects of national adoration.” Joshua B. Freeman, Nation

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Published by Southern Illinois University Press
ISBN 10: 0809310961 ISBN 13: 9780809310968
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Southern Illinois University Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0809310961 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1324818

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 63.72
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Dr. Richard Gid Powers Ph.D. (Compiler)
Published by Southern Illinois University Press (1983)
ISBN 10: 0809310961 ISBN 13: 9780809310968
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Southern Illinois University Press, 1983. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0809310961

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 74.44
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Published by Southern Illinois University Press (1983)
ISBN 10: 0809310961 ISBN 13: 9780809310968
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Southern Illinois University Press, 1983. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0809310961

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 84.01
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Published by Southern Illinois University P (1983)
ISBN 10: 0809310961 ISBN 13: 9780809310968
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Southern Illinois University P, 1983. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110809310961

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 90.86
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds