Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
F.B. Eyes – How J. Edgar Hoover's Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature - Princeton Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

F.B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover's Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature

William J. Maxwell


Few institutions seem more opposed than African American literature and J. Edgar Hoover's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). But behind the scenes, the FBI's hostility to black protest was energized by fear of and respect for black writing. Drawing on nearly 14,000 pages of newly released FBI files, this book exposes the Bureau's intimate policing of five decades of African American poems, plays, essays, and novels. Starting in 1919, year one of Harlem's renaissance and Hoover's career at the Bureau, secretive FBI “ghostreaders” monitored the latest developments in African American letters ... More

Keywords: African American literature, J. Edgar Hoover, Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI surveillance, black protest, black writing, black literature, political unrest, African American writers, self-censorship

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780691130200
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691130200.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William J. Maxwell, author
Washington University, St. Louis