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Chronicling the 'Bobby and J. Edgar' Battles

Sep 10, 2007 (Fresh Air from WHYY)

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Journalist and historian Burton Hersh has followed the Kennedy family for more than 35 years. His latest book is a study of the behind-the-scenes power struggles among the Kennedys and longtime FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

Hersh writes that as attorney general, Robert F. Kennedy did his best to keep Hoover — technically his subordinate — on a short leash. But knowledge of Kennedy family secrets gave Hoover, always a master manipulator, the upper hand.

Hersh's book is titled Bobby and J. Edgar: The Historic Face-Off Between the Kennedys and J. Edgar Hoover that Transformed America.

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