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FBI Wiretapped Hemingway 254

Posted by Soulskill
from the rights-and-writers dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "On the fiftieth anniversary of the death by suicide of author Ernest Hemingway, his friend and biographer A. E. Hotchner writes in the NY Times that the man who 'had stood his ground against charging water buffaloes, who had flown missions over Germany, who had refused to accept the prevailing style of writing but, enduring rejection and poverty, had insisted on writing in his own unique way, this man, my deepest friend, was afraid — afraid that the FBI was after him, that his body was disintegrating, that his friends had turned on him, that living was no longer an option.' In the midst of depression and under treatment at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, Hemingway was convinced that his room was bugged, his phone was tapped, and suspected that one of the interns was a fed. Decades later, in response to a Freedom of Information petition, the FBI released its Hemingway file. It revealed that beginning in the 1940s J. Edgar Hoover had placed Hemingway under surveillance because he was suspicious of Ernest's activities in Cuba. The surveillance continued all through his confinement at St. Mary's Hospital, making it likely that the phone outside his room was tapped after all. 'In the years since, I have tried to reconcile Ernest's fear of the FBI, which I regretfully misjudged, with the reality of the FBI file,' writes Hotchner, author of Papa Hemingway and Hemingway and His World. 'I now believe he truly sensed the surveillance, and that it substantially contributed to his anguish and his suicide.'"
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FBI Wiretapped Hemingway

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