> Skip to content
  • Published: 10 February 2012
  • ISBN: 9780141957845
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 560

Enemies

A History of the FBI




The epic, disturbing story of how the FBI is America's real secret service

'Such creatures of passion, disloyalty, and anarchy must be crushed out. The hand of our power should close over them at once' President Woodrow Wilson, 1919

The United States is a country founded on the ideals of democracy and freedom, yet throughout the last century it has used secret and lawless methods to destroy its enemies. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is the most powerful of these forces.

Following his award-winning history of the C.I.A., Legacy of Ashes, Tim Weiner has now written the first full history of the F.B.I. as a secret intellligence service. Drawn entirely from firsthand materials in the F.B.I.'s own files, Enemies brilliantly brings to life the entire story, from the cracking of anarchist cells to the prosecution of the 'war on terror'. It is the story of America's war against spies, subversives and saboteurs - and the self-inflicted wounds American democracy suffered in battle.

Throughout the book lies the long shadow of J. Edgar Hoover, who ran the F.B.I. with an iron fist for forty-eight years. He was not a monster, but a brilliant confidence man who ruled by fear, force, and fraud. His power shaped America; his legacy haunts it.

  • Published: 10 February 2012
  • ISBN: 9780141957845
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 560

About the author

Tim Weiner

Tim Weiner is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist at the New York Times where he has reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Sudan, and fifteen other nations. He was based for a decade in Washington, DC, where he covered the CIA and the military - the last topic being the basis for his famous book Blank Check: The Pentagon's Black Budget. His latest book is Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (2007).

Also by Tim Weiner

See all

Praise for Enemies

Truly impressive ... [Enemies] could have been put together only by a journalist of Weiner's stature

Keith Lowe, Sunday Telegraph

A history that moves at the pace of a James Ellroy novel. But Weiner's truth is wilder even than Ellroy's fiction. Weiner sets the record straight on the FBI's first 100 years using only the Bureau's documents and oral testimony, most of which has never been seen

David Blackburn, Spectator

An outstanding piece of work, even-handed, exhaustively researched, smoothly written and thematically timely ... This is certainly the most complete book we are likely to see about the F.B.I.'s intelligence-gathering operations, from Emma Goldman to Osama bin Laden

Bryan Burrough, New York Times

Extensively researched, admirably understated, yet terrifically entertaining

Boston Globe

Important and disturbing ... Weiner lays bare a record of embarrassing, even stunning failure, in which the bureau's lawlessness was matched only by its incompetence ... [he] has done prodigious research, yet tells this depressing story with all the verve and coherence of a good spy thriller

New York Times Book Review

A fascinating account of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's counterespionage snooping over the past century ... A very good read

Wall Street Journal

An authoritative and often frightening history of what has been, in effect, America's secret police ... A sober, monumental and unflinchingly critical account of a problematic institution

Kirkus Reviews

An important, judicious account of the tension between national security and civil liberties

Publishers Weekly

Fascinating ... an important and biting inquiry into an agency that protects Americans in a dangerous world while straining against the limitations we rightly impose upon it

San Francisco Chronicle

[A] masterpiece ... reads like a thriller, but don't let the heart-pumping prose fool you ... a scholarly tour de force that will be an instant classic for any serious student of American national security

Amy Zegart (author of Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI and the Origins of 9/11)

Fast-paced, fair-minded and fascinating ... turns the long history of the FBI into a story that is as compelling, and important, as today's headlines

Jeffrey Toobin (author of The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court)

Riveting ... goes so deep into the agency's skullduggery, readers feel they are tapping the phones along with J. Edgar Hoover. This is a book that every American who cares about civil liberties should read

Jane Mayer (author of The Dark Side)

The most comprehensive history of the FBI as an intelligence agency we have ever had ... essential reading for anyone concerned about American civil liberties

Robert Dallek (author of John F. Kennedy)

Related titles