- Mass Market Paperback: 624 pages
- Publisher: Pocket; Expanded and updated edition (October 1, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 067178658X
- ISBN-13: 978-0671786588
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.1 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,052,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The FBI: Inside the World's Most Powerful Law Enforcement Agency Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1994
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Ronald Kessler, an investigator reporter who has worked for the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, researched deep within the FBI to produce one of the most thorough looks ever at the agency. Most of his findings focus on changes in the bureau since the days of autocratic director J. Edgar Hoover. He also shows how the FBI solved such cases as the World Trade Center bombing, covered up internal problems, and instituted many technological changes in criminal investigations.Kessler's research raised questions that played a role in the eventual removal from office of director William Sessions; events that reflect Kessler's investigative knowledge of the FBI.
From Publishers Weekly
This detailed look at the inner workings of the FBI is by the author of Inside the CIA.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
He has been working with contacts from this agency for years so there is some interesting inside info that will be new to the reader, but a lot of the really interesting stuff has been spelled out in an number of other books or TV programs. The book is a well written and constructed story with a good road map though the years and departments. The reader does not get lost in a jumble of department abbreviations. A good overview book that is probably what most readers are looking for.
He pulls no punches when describing the shortcomings of agents and past fiascos, he names names and assigns blame. The final chapter of the book goes into detail about the previous director, William Sessions, his successes certainly, but also the abuses that he uncovered during the research of his book. His revelations led to Sessions' firing.
He describes with a great deal of detail the workings of the agency on the street level, in the field offices, and at headquarters. One gets a good look at policies, procedures, training, and special ops. But most especially, he talks about real agents, men and women who deserve our respect for the jobs they perform.! The human interest in this book is very good, making it an easy book to read, and leaving one with a sense that the FBI is in fact the greatest law enforcement agency in the world.
The book focuses on an important concept, and that is the difference between the occupant of a position in the government, and the position itself. While past directors of the FBI may have had questionable integrity (Hoover, Sessions), this does not cast a negative light on the institution itself. People are corrupt, not institutions. No one is above the law, and yes, the author makes a good point that everyone who works for the FBI should be subject to the same rules and regulations that any common citizen does. That means off-duty speedy FBI agents must be subject to the same traffic rules as anyone else. No one is above the law, not even the president, as Mr. Clinton learned.
I especially enjoyed learning about some of the past techniques the FBI used to shut down major criminal organizations. As Kessler makes note, many criminal enterprises work similar to businesses. One method -- creating shell companies, including cell phone companies and bars -- to meet and get to know these thugs -- is an incredible idea. The FBI's surveillance techniques are second to none, and while the author was able to discuss some obvious ones, the FBI's true secrets are left unmentioned, a good thing for Joe Citizen who just wants criminals taken off the street.
An excellent book.