The Protectors®

#237 | Paul Letersky | Author | Former Special Agent

July 20, 2021 Dr. Jason Piccolo Episode 237
The Protectors®
#237 | Paul Letersky | Author | Former Special Agent
Show Notes

Paul Letersky joined The Protectors to talk about his book THE DIRECTOR: My Years Assisting J. Edgar Hoover.  We also go into what a day in the life of J. Edgar Hoover was like.  

The Book: Since Hoover’s death half a century ago, millions of words have been written about the man and hundreds of hours of TV dramas. But until now, there has been virtually no account from someone who, for a period of years, spent hours with the Director on a daily basis.

Paul Letersky began working for Director Hoover in 1965 and had a front-row seat to the comings-and-goings of Hoover’s personal office at the height of one of the most turbulent decades since the Civil War.  The Director showcases the dedication of history’s longest serving FBI director, including:

-      The animosity felt by Hoover towards Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the comments made by Hoover on first hearing of Dr. King’s shooting from Letersky.

-      A deeply personal look at Hoover’s longtime assistant Helen Gandy, the highest paid woman at the DOJ in the 1970’s and considered to be Hoover’s most trusted confidant.

-      The effectiveness of the FBI’s "COINTELPRO" programs—black bag projects from 1956-1971 aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, sowing discord and discrediting American organizations.  

-      How "COINTELPRO" targeted groups as disparate as the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Panther Party, as well as civil rights leaders like Dr. King and influential public anti-war figures like John Lennon.

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