- Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; 1 edition (July 13, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312989776
- ISBN-13: 978-0312989774
- Product Dimensions: 4 x 1.3 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 46 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,315,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI 1st Edition
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“An insightful history of the agency from its inception...reveals unexpected details surrounding a number of well known cases.” ―Providence Journal-Bulletin
From the Back Cover
No institution is as critically important to America's security. No American institution is as controversial. And, after the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court, no institution is as powerful. Yet until now, no book has presented the full story of the FBI from its beginnings in 1908 to the present...
The Secret History of the FBI
Based on exclusive interviews-including the first interview with Robert Mueller since his nomination as director-The Bureau reveals why the FBI was unprepared for the attacks of September 11 and how the FBI is combating terrorism today. The book answers such questions as: Why did the FBI know nothing useful about al-Qaeda before September 11? What is really behind the FBI's more aggressive investigative approaches that have raised civil liberties concerns? What does the FBI think of improvements in airline security? How safe does the FBI think America really is?
An Award-winning investigative reporter and New York Times bestselling author of Inside the White House, Ronald Kessler answers these questions and presents the definitive history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Bureau reveals startling new information-from J. Edgar Hoover's blackmailing of Congress to the investigation of the September 11th attacks.
"A compelling and timely exposition of the real FBI."
--Los Angeles Times
"Kessler, whose reporting led to the downfall of director William Sessions, writes an absorbing, fast-paced narrative based upon his extensive access to FBI files and personnel."
Top customer reviews
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Because of its reputation as an organization of the highest integrity and professionalism, the FBI has always attracted excellent recruits to become its agents; and yet its management has often been unable to live up to its ideals, leaving the agents in the field to carry the burden of its reputation.
Whatever the findings of the 9/11 Commission, the FBI will continue to be America's best hope for protection in the new world of 21st Century terrorism. This book takes us up to Robert Mueller's confirmation and the immediate aftermath of the WTC attacks, and is an important addition to our knowledge of our premier law-enforcement agency as it struggles to adapt to post-Cold War realities.
The story of the FBI is the story of its Directors:
* 1908 - 1923 Formation
Started by TR's AG who was tired of having to call on the Secret Service for investigative support, agents were originally neither allowed to carry weapons nor to make arrests.
* 1924 - 1972 J. Edgar Hoover
For 48 years Hoover was "The Director". Hoover was responsible for creating the idea of the FBI that we all know and that attracted America's best to its agent force. It was a great institution Hoover created, but he himself was guilty of much unseemly behavior including political blackmail.
* 1972 - 1973 L. Patrick Grey
Named acting Director by Richard Nixon after Hoover's death, Grey represented the lowest ebb of FBI management, giving secret Watergate information to White House Counsel John Dean and destroying evidence. The great beating heart of the agent force was most evident during this sorry period, however: they continued faithfully the investigations that ultimately were the downfall of their boss, Grey, his boss, Attorney General Mitchell, as well as President Nixon himself.
* 1973 - 1978 Clarence Kelley
An ex-agent himself, Kelley began the process of bringing the FBI's behavior at all levels back into line with its reputation. But he was politically insensitive during an exceptionally turbulent period, and stayed fewer than 5 years.
* 1978 - 1987 William Webster
Appointed by President Carter, Webster oversaw a period of great renewal. Largely as a result of his excellent results at the FBI, President Reagan appointed Webster to run the CIA, which was the FBI's great loss.
* 1987 - 1993 William Sessions
Sessions was fired by President Clinton after a DOJ report detailed numerous instances of corruption and poor judgment. Sessions initially refused to leave and afterwards carried on an attempt to blame jealousy inside the FBI for his problems, the last of which was the Branch Davidian disaster in Waco, Texas.
* 1993 - 2001 Louis Freeh
A former agent and a US Attorney under Rudy Giuliani, Louis Freeh was an agent's agent. But it soon became clear he was not competent to manage a large organization. He hated technology: removing the computer from his office, he didn't use email and refused to allow agents access to the Internet. Freeh gave us "Filegate", mishandled the Ruby Ridge, Waco and Wen Ho Lee investigations, and leaked an internal memo supporting an independent counsel, thereby alienating Republicans and Democrats alike.
* 2001 - Robert Mueller
Confirmed less than a month before 9/11, Mueller took over when the FBI faced its greatest crisis ever. Early press clippings have been favorable but he has already presided over a $1 billion technology-upgrade failure. The FBI desperately needs leadership and Kessler is a fan; America can only hope.
The sub title of this book "The Secret History ..." is overly melodramatic. This is a solid history of the FBI and well worth reading by anyone with an interest in the subject.