The linked review is from the American Spectator, a magazine I subscribe to for reviews like this and to stretch my brain in the weak areas of poetry and the "liberal arts" in the old sense of "liberal".
The author of the book is Beverly Gage, a Yale professor, so someone even the left might not totally disregard, although my guess is this book will be as suppressed as possible.
Her book G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century, a biography of former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, was named a best book of 2022 by the Washington Post (Ten Best Books), The Atlantic (Ten Best Books), Publishers Weekly (Ten Best Books), The New Yorker (24 Essential Reads), The New York Times (100 Notable Books), Smithsonian (Ten Best History Books), and Barnes & Noble (Ten Best History Books).
When the FBI was investigating organized crime and communist agents and sympathisers in the US, it received total support from conservatives (and not from the left). Today? Not so much.
The FBI has suffered popular disapproval before in its 114-year history, yet never has the Bureau been so distrusted by the Right as it is today. It is playing a central role in the attempt to criminalize Donald Trump and his supporters, with heavy-handed tactics deployed against the January 6 “insurrectionists” and a raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home reminiscent of what occurs in a banana republic.In addition, its aggressive targeting of “right-wing extremists,” including pro-life activists, indicates a surprising willingness by the Bureau to become identified as a partisan police force for the Democratic Party.Few people realize that Mark Felt, Hoover's 3rd in command at the FBI was "Deep Throat", who brought down Nixon, mostly because he was passed over for a promotion to director of the FBI in favor of Patrick Gray. Mark Felt was no moral paragon, in 1980 he was convicted of civil rights violations, but pardoned by Ronald Reagan.
Gage explored the dramatic two years that followed Hoover’s death in a scholarly essay published in 2012, “Deep Throat, Watergate, and the Bureaucratic Politics of the FBI,” in which she notes that the conditions for the Watergate crisis had already been established by Hoover before his death. Though Hoover and Nixon were close personal friends, “Hoover believed in the administrative state—in the power of independent bureaucrats. . . . Nixon, by contrast, was a man of parties, someone who hated the bureaucracy and believed that . . . voter control offered the best hope for effective government.” From this perspective, Watergate emerges as “an institutional struggle between political allies, contained within the executive branch and locked in conflict over the proper use of the state."
LBJ used the FBI to investigate political opponents, the Kennedys and MLK, but he was totally on the side of the Administrative State -- they had no quarrel with him, but they hated Richard Nixon, because, (like Trump), he was a threat to the Administrative/Deep State.
Nixon recorded in his diary after the 1972 election:
This is . . . probably the last time, that we can get government under control before it gets so big that it submerges the individual completely and destroys the dynamism which makes the American system what it is.
Nixon saw that America was falling into the tyranny of the Administrative State, and he was attacked because the Administrative State, especially the FBI, saw him as an existential threat to their power. Same for Trump.
The fact that we are no longer a democracy, but rather an oligarchy governed by the Democrats and Administrative State, is beneath the radar of a huge majority of Americans, however many of them sense that "something is wrong" even with the constant propaganda barrage they live under.
To guarantee both its authority and funding, the bureaucracy operates with the support of, and in consultation with, the senior leadership in Congress—which has in key respects ceased to be a partisan institution. Leaders of both parties are deeply attached to their power to supervise the administrative state. Of course, it is the Democrats who have long been the party of big government, and they are truly in charge over the long term. Nominal Republicans in Congress send out spirited fundraising letters invoking the Constitution, but in practice the gop leadership remains firmly within the bounds of establishment opinion. (May we wonder, based on the evidence, whether Senator Mitch McConnell even wanted a Republican majority in November? Might he be entirely content, and even find it preferable, to remain in the minority—retaining his perks without the burden of accountability?)
We can say the same thing of Kevin McCarthy, a true denizen of "The Swamp". The fact that 20 Republicans stood up as a "Rebel Alliance" gives a ray for hope, but the odds against any real change are LONG. Steve Hayward gives an excellent summary of the good/bad of the Rebel Alliance here.
The Administrative State is one of my long term Hobby Horses ... very recently here.
The Empire of the Administrative State is strong. Like the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars, the odds are against freedom.