"BEST WISHES FROM J. EDGAR HOOVER XMAS '62": FIRST EDITION OF FBI DIRECTOR HOOVER'S STUDY OF COMMUNISM, INSCRIBED BY HIM IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION TO ICONIC WASHINGTON RESTAURATEUR ULYSSES G. AUGER
HOOVER, J. Edgar. A Study of Communism. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, (1962). Octavo, original black paper boards, original dust jacket. $2000.
First edition, a memorable presentation/association copy inscribed by Hoover in the year of publication to Ulysses G. Auger, Washington D.C.'s legendary restaurateur, "To U. G. Auger, Best wishes from J. Edgar Hoover Xmas '62." Auger's Blackie's House of Beef was “the restaurant of choice for Capitol Hill heavyweights," including Hoover, who showed up with Clyde Tolson every Wednesday for dinner, and was greeted by Auger, who "always sent over a bottle of Cognac."
For Hoover, "the specter of communism was more than just the shadow of a real-life communist. He saw communism as 'the latest form of the eternal rebellion against authority', so it represented a tendency rooted in the fallen nature of man" (Powers, 238). Study of Communism was largely authored by Hoover's "loyal lieutenant" William Sullivan, who was known "in the FBI as an intellectual and an expert on communism" before he broke with Hoover and ultimately assailed him as "a master blackmailer." Long used "as a high school textbook… it followed Masters of Deceit onto the best-sellers list. But the FBI's campaigns to hype both books with planted reviews and bulk purchases struck Sullivan as unseemly echoes of communist propaganda" (Maxwell, 161). This distinctive copy is inscribed by Hoover to the famed founder and co-owner of Blackie's House of Beef, "the restaurant of choice for Capitol Hill heavyweights,… customers included RFK, Hubert Humphrey, Jimmy Durante and Rock Hudson… J. Edgar Hoover was another regular, showing up every Wednesday night with his close friend Clyde Tolson. The owners always sent over a bottle of cognac." A waiter remembered Hoover well: "'He was with his guest"—Tolson—"always… They would have a lovely conversation and enjoy their dinner'" (Washington Post). Published by Henry Holt, the "publishing firm owned by Clint Murchison, the Texas oilman who put Hoover and Tolson up each summer at his Del Charro Hotel during their La Jolla trip" and also published Masters of Deceit (1958) (Broken, 238). Copyright page with "First Edition"; first printing with no printings stated. First reviewed in the New York Times on October 21, 1962.
Book fine; light edge-wear to bright near-fine dust jacket.