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PS228.M63 C85 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Several years ago on a whim, Culleton requested James Joyce's FBI file. Hoover had Joyce under surveillance as a suspected Communist, and the chain of cross-references that Culleton followed from Joyce's file lead her to obscenity trials and, less obviously, to a plot to assassinate Irish labour leader James Larkin. Hoover devoted a great deal of energy to keeping watch on intellectuals and considered literature to be dangerous on a number of levels. Joyce and the G-Men explores how these linkages are indicative of the culture of the FBI under Hoover, and the resurgence of American anti-intellectualism.


Author Notes

CLAIRE A. CULLETON is Professor and Graduate Studies Coordinator in the Department of English at Kent State University, USA.


Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

In the early 1990s, Culleton (English, Kent State Univ.) requested James Joyce's FBI file under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). She received 20 mostly blacked-out, cross-referenced pages culled from the files of others, many internally coded by the FBI as Communists. Intrigued, Culleton went on to make countless FOIA requests for documents related to Joyce's friends and family, his editors and publishers, and other modernist writers. Over a decade of working with documents related to Theodore Dreiser, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, Thomas Mann, and John Steinbeck, Culleton noted that J. Edgar Hoover and his FBI showed a pattern of fearing (and seeking to intimidate) figures of a literary movement increasingly critical of mass culture and middle-class values. Despite its catchy title, this is not a work about Joyce but rather a fascinating and horrifying look at how Hoover and his agency sought systematically to "contain and thereby structure expressions of literary modernists." Throughout, Culleton muses about what Modernism could have been without Hoover's endless bullying and political shenanigans. Though this absorbing study raises more questions than it answers, it is essential for most academic libraries. William D. Walsh, Georgia State Univ. Lib., Atlanta (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

James Joyce and writers who created the modernist novel--who would think that they and J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI from 1924 to 1972, would interact? But they did. Culleton (Kent State Univ.) examines the effect Hoover had on modern writers in America as a result of his deportation of radical foreigners and the legal battles he forced on writers, booksellers, editors, and publishers of innovative books, journals, and magazines. Culleton bases her study on FBI documents (an investigation that started when she requested Joyce's FBI files), and she argues that Hoover's impact grew the longer he led the FBI. The author looks at the work of Sherwood Anderson, Margaret Anderson, James Baldwin, Samuel Beckett, John Dos Passos, Theodore Dreiser, T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and many others, especially African Americans. Hoover's impact on writers, publishers, agents, periodical editors--and the reading public--was considerable, and Culleton argues that Hoover's influence on the literary world and subsequently the nation was far more widespread than the public was aware. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Graduate and research collections. Q. Grigg emeritus, Hamline University


Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
1 Joyce and the G-Men: J. Edgar Hoover's Manipulation of Modernismp. 17
2 Modern Literature and Hoover's Degenerist Anxietiesp. 69
3 "Processed by Democracy": J. Edgar Hoover in the Age of Mechanical Reproductionp. 105
4 Hoover's Immigration Battlegrounds: Alien Radicals, Intellectuals, and Provocateurs in the Labor Movementp. 117
5 "Trade Papers for Revolutionaries": Modernism's Newspapers and Little Magazinesp. 147
6 Modernism, Obscenity, and Social Purity Discoursep. 161
7 Epiloguep. 183
Notesp. 191
Works Citedp. 211
Acknowledgmentsp. 221
Indexp. 225