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Wedge: The Secret War Between the FBI and CIA Hardcover – October 18, 1994

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Based on documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and interviews with former agents, Riebling's expose of the bitter rivalry between the FBI and CIA is presented through the prism of national traumas that might have turned out differently had these agencies worked togther: the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the McCarthy-era loyalty investigations, the JFK assassination and the World Trade Center bombing. Relations have always been tense, shows Riebling, dating back to the early years of WWII when William Donovan, head of the Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner of the CIA), built a network of agents against the wishes of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Interagency animosity was further fueled by Hoover's suspicion that a later CIA director, Walter Bedell Smith, was a Communist. The FBI's obsessive search for Soviet moles during the '60s led to a formal disassociation in 1970, when Hoover abolished the Liaison Section. Relations are still so poor that the recent arraignment of Soviet spy Aldridge Ames was presented to the public, according to the author, less as a national-security catastrophe than as an example of something rare and wonderful-cooperation between the FBI and CIA. Riebling is a former Random House editor; this is his first book.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The conflict between the FBI and the CIA over publicity, money, and scope of operations is old news, but this book does an adequate job of putting it all in perspective. Riebling reviews accusations that bureaucratic struggles led to mistakes and tragedies such as Pearl Harbor, JFK's assassination, and the mishandling of spies in the United States, most recently Aldrich Ames. Such problems resulted from the differing personalities of those involved, particularly J. Edgar Hoover; differing missions; and differing corporate cultures-while the CIA was derived from freewheeling World War II foreign operations, the FBI focused on domestic security and the punishment of criminals. The author frequently tries to explain the context of American history for the last 50 years so that the reader has some idea of why things happened the way they did. Ian Fleming appears frequently, since he played an important role during World War II in outlining the foundations of a centralized American intelligence service. This is an interesting and enjoyable book to read, but the reader will be frustrated by the waste and pettiness of those in charge. Recommended for informed readers.
Daniel K. Blewett, Loyola Univ. Lib., Chicago
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 563 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (October 18, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679414711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679414711
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,216,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Well-written, thoroughly researched account, from Pearl Harbor to the present. Highlights: World War II, Kennedy Assassination, Watergate, Iran-Contra, Aldrich Ames. What made Cold War counterintelligence officers "tick"? Myths about FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and CIA spycatcher James Jesus Angleton are corrected. Special focus: 94% accuracy of predictions by ex-KGB officer Anatoily Golitsyn, who in 1984 foresaw the rise of Gorbachev, fall of the Berlin Wall, etc. Author Riebling is former editor at Random House, Inc
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Format: Hardcover
I cannot do this book justice, other than to say that I had never understood the depth and stupidity of the bureaucratic hostility between the FBI and the CIA-mostly the fault of the CIA these days but certainly inspired in part by Hoover in the early days-until I read this book; and that it should be required reading for every senior CIA manager. From the FBI's failure to communicate its very early knowledge of Japanese collection requirement on Pearl Harbor via the Germans, to the assassination of President Kennedy, the World Trade Center bombing and the Aldrich Ames case, this book makes me ashamed and angry about how bureaucracy and secrecy subvert loyalty, integrity, and common professional sense on both sides of this "wedgie" contest.
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By A Customer on May 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"A brilliant book. Outstanding research and superlative presentation of the dramatis personae. An anecdotal and extremely well written account -- as informative as any treatise and as entertaining as the best espionage novels." -- Kirkus Reviews.
"There are few books that adequately cover this subject. Much of what passes for 'the literature' is overblown, conspiracy-addled and fragmented. But Mark Riebling, a historian, has made a valiant effort to piece it all together in WEDGE.... The fact that he has taken great pains to avoid using anonymous sources is just one of a number of reasons why serious students of this nation's haywire-rigged counterintelligence effort should read WEDGE.... Refreshingly unlike most spy literature.... the cumulative effect of his tales is staggering." -- John Fialka, The Wall Street Journal.
"Any illusions that the two organizations simply mirror each other are thoroughly shattered. Riebling meticulously traces the continuing conflict and its consequences, which sometimes took the form of Keystone Cop episodes but more often were deadly serious." -- Houston Chronicle.
"A surprisingly fresh, coherent, well-written and persuasive analysis. Striking conclusions, a succession of colorful adventurers, and highly provocative speculations which have the unsettling ring of plausibility." -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
"A lively and engaging narrative of interagency bungling, infighting, malfeasance and nonfeasance, providing fresh and well-rounded portraits of well-known (and ought-to-be-well-known) agents -- drawing on scores of original and rewarding interviews." -- Richard Gid Powers, front page, Washington Post Book World.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
terribly outdated as the edition I got was from before 9/11. The photo was misleading as it is from a later edition than what was shipped to me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Still goes on
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