Edward Snowden's revelations about the scope of US government surveillance programs took many people by surprise. But the federal government has been tracking people's personal information for a long time.
Surveillance really took off in 1919. That's when a young Department of Defense lawyer named J. Edgar Hoover was tapped to head a brand new division of the department: the Radical Division. Hoover was only 24 years old at the time.
Historian Beverly Gage is writing a biography of Hoover. Today on KUOW Presents Brian Balogh asks her: Why Hoover? What qualified this young upstart to take over the government surveillance of radicals?
Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, August 8: