A groundbreaking history of the FBI, from its anti-terrorist roots in the Reconstruction era to the 9/11 attacks
Both a chronological narrative of major events and an examination of the important issues regarding the FBI's controversial operations and policies (e.g., its illegal harassment of organizations and its hiring of relatively few women and minorities), this book carries on a theme of Jeffreys-Jones's (American history, Edinburgh Univ.) Cloak and Dollarthat intelligence agencies are playing confidence games on the public, exaggerating threats to get more resources and fewer restrictions. Using both secondary sources and FBI case files, the author touches on how American politics and society have affected the organization and the executive branch's efforts to control it. In contrast to other books highlighting FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's prominence, this one gives more emphasis to the efforts of the attorneys-general to guide and reform the bureau. Interest in racial problems and suspicion of African Americans are common threads throughout, making this book a good supplement to Kenneth O'Reilly's Racial Matters: The FBI's Secret File on Black America, 1960-1972. Suitable for academic and large public libraries.