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FBI 100 Years: An Unofficial History Hardcover – April 15, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


Library Journal, June 1, 2008
"In anticipation of the FBI's centennial this summer, prolific author and law enforcement veteran Holden (To Be an FBI Special Agent) has produced a work for general readers on the ever interesting and controversial history of this primary investigative agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. The book may be defined as an unofficial history, but Holden was granted access to current agents and to the FBI's photo archive to produce a work profusely illustrated with about 300 photographs of equipment, FBI activities, and agents and criminals in action, all of which will fascinate. Chapters cover the early years when Teddy Roosevelt was President, J. Edgar Hoover's long tenure as director, his role in blacklistings and McCarthyism, the pursuit of organized crime, spies, the use of domestic surveillance, and standoffs gone bad. Some of the popular touches include movie posters and comic strips. The book includes all of the FBI's '10 Most Wanted Fugitives' lists and ends with a list of the 51 special agents who died in service, a brief chronology, and definitions of acronyms and abbreviations. Those looking for more critical discussion of the bureau may want to examine Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones' The FBI: A History, but this book will have appeal in both public libraries and specialized collections.", June 2008
"The Federal Bureau of Investigation is considered by many to be the premier law enforcement agency in our country today. Where did it come from? Why was it established? What does it do? Who provides it authority to do so? When I was first approached to review what I saw as essentially a history book, I wasn't too enthused. I mean, that's not my idea of recreational reading. But I kept an open mind and I'm glad I did. This book proved interesting in many ways for anyone who serves (or has served) in law enforcement...if you are interested in law enforcement either through your employment or for another purpose, this book may well provide you some insights you'd not otherwise find."

Midwest Book Review, April 2008
"FBI 100 Years offers an up-close look at the best and worst moments in the history of one of the world's most famous law enforcement agencies. Although it is largely a positive picture Holden presents of the agency, he doesn't duck controversial issues such as surveillance methods. Not only are Hoover's notorious filed addressed but also the rumors about the director's supposedly X-rated private life. Featuring 300 color and black and white photos, FBI 100 Years is a pictorial treasure-trove of images that will delight anyone interested in American law enforcement. Undoubtedly books more critical of the agency will be released this year, since this is an important FBI anniversary. But for a well illustrated and comprehensive overview of the organization, you won't find a better value than FBI 100 Years."

Book Description

On the eve of the FBI’s centenary, this book offers the first comprehensive illustrated account of the Bureau’s 100-year history. Granted unprecedented access to the FBI headquarters and academy at Quantico, author Henry M. Holden presents a rare inside view of the agency’s workings, as well as a compelling, closely observed picture of its ever-changing role, powers, notable cases, and controversies through the years. Chronicling the Bureau’s successes and failures from its early days as Teddy Roosevelt’s trust-busting detective force to its increased emphasis on counterterrorism in this post 9/11 world, the book is the most thorough and authoritative ever written about the FBI.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Zenith Press; 1st edition (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760332444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760332443
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 1 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mike O'Connor TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In its institutional lifetime, few agencies have been as revered and reviled as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Former law enforcement officer Henry Holden supplies a comprehensive, insightful and balanced account of the FBI's first 100 years in this 2011 coffee-table volume from Zenith Books.

The FBI traces its history back to 1908 when the Department of Justice created an investigative branch. The Bureau of Investigation had a checkered history until J. Edgar Hoover was appointed Director in 1924. Under Hoover's almost-half century reign, the FBI was transformed, eventually gaining a second-to-none crime-fighting reputation. Following Hoover's death in 1972, the FBI went into decline due to revelations about Hoover and the FBI's uneven record against 20th Century crime, Communism, etc. along with a series of directors ranging from mediocre to first-rate. Subsequent debacles such as Ruby Ridge, Waco, turncoat Robert Hanssen and 9/11 undercut efforts to restore the Bureau's luster.

Holden recounts the FBI's history chronologically in a series of chapters entitled: 'The Wild West Years;' 'J. Edgar Hoover,' 'Gangbusters,' 'Blacklists, Blackmail and McCarthyism,' 'Civil Rights, the KKK and Political Unrest;' and so on. It's a history populated by individuals, organizations and events such as Lindbergh, Dillinger, 'Machine Gun' Kelly, the Kansas City Massacre, the KKK, Nazi saboteurs, HUAC, Whitaker Chambers, the Rosenbergs, RICO, Watergate, John Walker and the Oklahoma City bombing.

Holden does a fine job summarizing and analyzing the institution's successes and failures, which, for a large part of the Bureau's existence, mirrored Hoover's personal agenda.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John T. Finnegan on April 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Aside from the cost of the book to me (a fraction of the list price in several bookstores) it brought back many memories--some good and some not so. Excellent & balanced presentation.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a gift, but reviewed it prior. Very well written with great presentation.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pauro k.kume on June 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received an english book of the FBI 100 Years An Unofficial History and was very glad to read it after opened package for a beautiful book
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By foggy on January 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this book was way bigger then i thought, bigger then the size of (ah IDK) laptop i guess, or VCR, if anyone remebers what that is,(90s child myself) good illistration, fine detail, hard cover, the cover jacket was a little ruffed and torn at the edges tho.
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