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[[File: Hoover 2.jpg|200px|thumb|left|Hoover c 1960]]
==Hoover and the Red Scare==
The movie opens with Hoover playing an important role in the so-called Red Scare (1919). In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, there was a widespread fear of communism in America. Indeed, there were extreme left-wingers active in
America and the movie does accurately depict their machinations. The role of Hoover in the so-called Palmer Raids, when communists and left-wing sympathisers were arrested and deported is shown accurately (1919-1921)<ref> Gentry, Curt. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets (London, W. W. Norton & Company, 2001), p. 67</ref>. However, the movie shows the Di Caprio’s character as masterminding this operation. In reality Hoover was only following the directions of his mentor Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer. Communism was a near obsession of Hoover and he genuinely believed that America and its way of life was threatened by ‘Reds’, who were under the direction of the Soviet Union. He saw communism as a disease and that it had to be fought constantly <ref>Ackerman. Kenneth, Young J. Edgar: Hoover, the Red Scare, and the Assault on Civil Liberties (New York, Carroll & Graf, 2007), p. 78, 119</ref>. The movie shows Hoover, as being inspired by a desire to save the free world from the ‘red menace’ and this is accurate. In the script, the head of the FBI was shown as being corrupted by his unflinching opposition to communism and this was one of the reasons why he engaged in unethical and illegal behaviour. It is beyond dispute that Hoover was the implacable foe of communism and socialism. The film does not really capture the fact that he used the fear of communism for his own purposes. He was able to manipulate the widespread fear of the ‘Reds’ to further his own career and ambitions. This is something that it not really raised in Eastwood’s biopic. Hoover would routinely accuse those whom he disliked or saw as a threat to his position as a communist. He often stated that senators, political opponents, judges, civil liberties advocates and journalists were communists so that he could impose his will on them or to gain some advantage <ref> Gentry, p. 301</ref>. The movie tends to show Hoover as a misguided patriot but in reality he was a Machiavellian operator, who used the fear of communism to secure his own power in the US <ref> Gentry, p. 318</ref>.
[[File: Hoover Three.jpg|200px|thumb|left|Clint Eastwood, the director of the biopic]]
==Hoover and the FBI==
Hoover was appointed as FBI director in 1924. He is shown as an innovator and someone who was able to use the latest organizational techniques to apprehend criminals. He was indeed an organizational genius’, and this is shown in the movie when he demonstrates his new cataloguing system to Helen Gandy (Naomi Watts). Eastwood also shows Hoover taking over an amateurish and shambolic organization that was not fit for purpose and this is accurate. He did overhaul and reform the Bureau and turned it into a very professional organization. The FBI chief did recruit only the best for his law enforcement agency and he transformed the culture of the FBI. He was responsible for the G-Men and cultivated an aura around the Bureau to make it appear to be the leading crime fighting agency in the country. One of the most important contributions of Hoover to law enforcement was the creation of the FBI laboratory in Qunatico. This provided forensic analysis support to not only the Bureau but also to law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. The most notorious head of the FBI was a true pioneer in law enforcement and he saw the value of finger prints, blood testing, and handwriting analysis, as essential tools in the fight against crime and this is shown very well in Eastwood’s work. The movie also shows Hoover’s role in the fight against infamous criminals from the Depression such as Baby Face Nelson and John Dillinger, which was the case. It was during the 1930s that the Bureau really became well-known and caught the imagination of the public. Eastwood’s movie shows the notorious Lindberg case as changing the fortunes of Hoover and the FBI. In the 2011 motion picture, Hoover and his G-Men are portrayed as playing an integral role into the 1934 kidnapping of the baby son of the great aviator Charles Lindbergh (1932). It shows the main character being asked to intervene and solve the case by President Herbert Hoover and helping to apprehend the kidnapper. In reality, the FBI played only a limited role in the case and Hoover’s new forensic techniques did not lead to the capture of the criminal who kidnapped the Lindberg baby<ref>Gentry, p 319</ref>. In one scene the central character is challenged by a Senator who claimed that he should not be the country’s top cop because he had never arrested anyone. An enraged Hoover is shown as flying into a rage and arresting some gangsters in response to the Senator’s jibes. In fact, the head of the Bureau could not arrest anyone because of a Congressional rule and he was not that bothered by the Senator’s claims.