“Isn’t Baldwin a well-known pervert?”
-J. Edgar Hoover (well-known pervert)
The same FBI that sent Martin Luther King Jr. letters advising him to kill himself had institutionalized its surveillance of notable black authors.
The Bureau director thus continued to explore ways to ban Baldwin’s book under the Interstate Transportation of Obscene Matter statute—this despite the report of the Justice Department’s General Crimes Section that “Another Country by James Baldwin has been reviewed…and it has been concluded that the book contains literary merit and may be of value to students of psychology and social behavior.”
FBI agents who supplied these files with literary notes and queries qualify as genuine critic-spies.