Enemies is the first definitive history of the FBI’s secret intelligence operations, from an author whose work on the Pentagon and the CIA won him the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
We think of the FBI as America’s police force. But secret intelligence is the Bureau’s first and foremost mission. Enemies is the story of how presidents have used the FBI as the most formidable intelligence force in American history.
Here is the hidden history of America’s hundred-year war on terror. The FBI has fought against terrorists, spies, anyone it deemed subversive—and sometimes American presidents. The FBI’s secret intelligence and surveillance techniques have created a tug-of-war between protecting national security and infringing upon civil liberties. It is a tension that strains the very fabric of a free republic.
©2012 Tim Weiner (P)2012 Random House
"Enemies is a research masterpiece. Picking through seventy thousand newly declassified documents and using on-the-record interviews, Weiner reveals startling new truths and debunks nagging old myths about the FBI. Enemies reads like a thriller, but don’t let the heart-pumping prose fool you. Weiner has written a scholarly tour de force that will be an instant classic for any serious student of American national security." (Amy B. Zegart, Ph.D., Associate Professor, UCLA School of Public Affairs, author of Spying Blind)
If you liked LEGACY OF ASHES you'll like this too. Unbelievable insights on the FBI, Hoover, and the never ending tug of war between liberty and safety.
I read or listen to about 100 books a year--history, sci-fi, literature, science.
Though Weiner is easier on the FBI than he was on the CIA in Legacy of Ashes, make no mistake, this is an unabashed indictment of the FBI. He makes pains to present a balanced history, letting the facts speak for themselves. Hoover's legacy is a wasteland.
I recommend this book wholly plus the history of the CIA by the same author. They build upon each other. American history is a complex subject these works help to conect the dots.
All about Hoover
At the order of the President, the FBI infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan to stop and disrupt their violent activities. One of the murders that was investigated by the FBI was carried out by a local sheriff, his deputies, and the justice of the peace.
Has a great voice, enjoyed the narration.
More details about Hoover than you could ever want to know.
I enjoyed parts of the book but there were so many inane details about Hoover I lost interest. As a matter of fact, the majority of the book is exclusively about Hoover. I purchased the book with the understanding that it was going to be about various different FBI operations and while the book DID talk about different operations, everything was from Hoover's perspective. If you like Hoover or care about Hoover, or want to know about Hoover - this book is for you. If not, it's going to be a little long to get through.
This very detailed history of our FBI is eye opening in chilling ways. The institution that was created with the warning that "a secret police is a menace to our society," then became just that under the direction of a power hungry maniac. It has had direct and indirect, negative affects on our country and way of life on a truly unknown and vast scale.
This book looks unbiasedly and unapologetically at all of this and is informative to the utmost degree.
You have done your country and its people a true service, Mr. Weiner.
A fair-minded look at the history of the FBI, and the degree to which culture at the Bureau has shaped the history of our country.
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First let me say that having read (or listened to) "Legacy of Ashes" and thought it was pretty good and I will probably listen to it again, this one not so much.
The title "Enemies" does look like the correct title since that's what Hover did create enemies, not only for him but for the whole country
Problem I think is that while "Legacy or Ashes" followed the whole CIA and how it did things where as "Enemies" was mostly about how J.Edgar Hover mostly ran things like he wanted to and really effed things up pretty good - Hover lived with his mother until he was in his 40's until she died! and he worked a normal government job not a bum or something like that, also he never ever had a relationship with anyone, never had sex ever according to all reports about him, its just strange.
After Hover dies and someone else takes over the FBI and it went to all sorts of different people in charge of the FBI because since Hover had really strange rules and polices in place that were hard to remove it was perceived by the President that they were doing things wrong.
There were some reviews that mentioned this wasn't as good as "Legacy of Ashes" and they were right, I don't know what the main problem is other than the large focus on Hover but that cant be avoided I guess when someone runs the FBI for as long as he did but it just doesn't feel as good as the other book, or as good as I think it could be.
I dont have anything to add that would make this better but I got the idea I couldn't want for the book to end until it got to the point that Hover was out of the picture.
I guess this book would be better 50 years from now since Hover ran the FBI until 1972 and then it was just cleaning up the mess that Hover left behind and forgetting the ways he put into effect, it was only after Sept 11th that the FBI started getting better so 50 years from now it would make a much better book to see how things went on from now
That the book was not as comprehensive as Legacy of Ashes. The reality of this book is that it should be titled "A Biography of J. E. Hoover". I understand that Hoover was a large portion of the FBI history, and that the more recent information is probably still classified and thus unpublishable but Weiner could have retitled this book and cut the last few chapters and had a better book with a much more accurate title.
Needs linguistics lessons
Repeat after me Mr. Rudnicki; Mah-Cheese-Moe, not Ma-kiss-mo, Mah-Cheese-Moe. That is just the beginning of so many mispronounced words.
The thing I liked best about this book was how thorough of a history it provided. It definitely debunked some myths that I thought previously to listening to it, it confirmed some things and it also had a lot of new information. What I liked least about it was it's length!! Holy cow, what a long book.
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