NO LEFT TURNS by Joseph L. Schott


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Retired FBI agent Schott served 23 years in the bureau and nearly every moment was spent devising ways to get around the absurd ""Catch-22"" procedure and personal conduct regulations which spewed unceasingly from Director J. Edgar Hoover's paranoid mind. It seems unlikely that the G-Men have yet recovered from his 48-year tenure and multifold regulations embalmed in agents' manuals. Schott's true tales of service life have a manic high utterly missing from the Director's own Masters of Deceit or the granite FBI persona worn by TV's Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. The battle rages between Washington and the Field, especially the small time resident agents (RA's) who are regarded from above as ""goddam parasites"" and ""necessary evils."" Banishment from head office or other special-agent positions meant demotion to the Field (""on the bricks"") and the anxiety of sustaining an illusion that the Director's master plan was being fulfilled. At times, flying ""goon squads"" of inspectors would arrive in the Field and tear offices apart in search of heresy and disloyalty. Perhaps the funniest episode recounted is Hoover's visit to Dallas--to butter up presidential hopeful LBJ; the agents had to prepare hotel suites with a mad finickiness (typed instructions how to turn the TV on or off), and the Director's chauffeur was ordered to make ""no left turns""--Hoover felt great discomfort inside a left-turning car. An insane vaudeville of bureaucracy and a perfect Woody Allen vehicle.

Pub Date: May 26th, 1975
Publisher: Praeger