Enemies by Tim Weiner

68%

18 Critic Reviews

"Enemies' " weakness is not what was written but what was omitted. . .it leaves a gap in understanding the agency's culture, which undoubtedly does value the rule of law.
-San Francisco Chronicle

Synopsis

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post • New York Daily News • Slate

“Fast-paced, fair-minded, and fascinating, Tim Weiner’s Enemies turns the long history of the FBI into a story that is as compelling, and important, as today’s headlines.”—Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Oath
 
NATIONAL BESTSELLER
 
Enemies is the first definitive history of the FBI’s secret intelligence operations, from an author whose work on the Pentagon and the CIA won him the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
 
We think of the FBI as America’s police force. But secret intelligence is the Bureau’s first and foremost mission. Enemies is the story of how presidents have used the FBI to conduct political warfare, and how the Bureau became the most powerful intelligence service the United States possesses.
 
Here is the hidden history of America’s hundred-year war on terror. The FBI has fought against terrorists, spies, anyone it deemed subversive—and sometimes American presidents. The FBI’s secret intelligence and surveillance techniques have created a tug-of-war between national security and civil liberties. It is a tension that strains the very fabric of a free republic.
 
Praise for Enemies

“Outstanding.”—The New York Times
 
“Absorbing . . . a sweeping narrative that is all the more entertaining because it is so redolent with screw-ups and scandals.”—Los Angeles Times
 

About Tim Weiner

See more books from this Author
Tim Weiner has won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting and writing on secret intelligence and national security. As a correspondent for The New York Times, he covered the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington and terrorism in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Sudan, and other nations. Enemies is his fourth book. His Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA won the National Book Award and was acclaimed as one of the year's best books by The New York Times, The Economist, The Washington Post, Time, and many other publications. The Wall Street Journal called Betrayal "the best book ever written on a case of espionage." He is now working on a history of the American military.
 
Published February 14, 2012 by Random House. 560 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Mar 04 2012
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Critic reviews for Enemies
All: 18 | Positive: 11 | Negative: 7

Kirkus

Excellent
Feb 01 2012

A sober, monumental and unflinchingly critical account of a problematic institution.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Stephen Holmes on Mar 30 2012

Leaving Hoover's alleged personality disorders to Hollywood scriptwriters, Weiner focuses his efforts instead on refuting a series of misperceptions about the FBI. . .

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Kevin Baker on Mar 30 2012

Weiner...has done prodigious research, yet tells this depressing story with all the verve and coherence of a good spy thriller

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Bryan Burrough on Mar 14 2012

The last third of “Enemies” is well-worn territory...this leads to a decidedly uneven narrative; just as there is almost nothing in the book about the 1930s, the 1980s are left aside except for a single long interview...

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Jan 20 2012

If sometimes disorganized Weiner’s narrative is an important, judicious account of the tension between national security and civil liberties.

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Wall Street Journal

Excellent
Reviewed by George Melloan on Feb 14 2012

. . .Mr. Weiner's work is grounded in assiduous research and is the more compelling for it.

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LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Bob Drogin on Feb 22 2012

. . .a sweeping narrative that is all the more entertaining because it is so redolent with screw-ups and scandals.

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Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by Colin Freeze on Mar 20 2012

Weiner adeptly mines Washington’s archives to tell the story of the FBI as a domestic spy agency.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Dina Temple-Raston on Mar 23 2012

. . .the book also gives ample evidence that the bureau broke the law for decades out of a genuine desire to keep the nation safe.

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The Telegraph

Below average
Reviewed by Keith Lowe on Feb 20 2012

Its role as a crime-fighting agency is ignored, so readers expecting to find stories about Al Capone will be disappointed.

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Christian Science Monitor

Below average
Reviewed by David Holahan on Apr 10 2012

. . .a compelling and chronological read which could have been improved with better transitions and connections between episodes.

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Booklist Online

Excellent
Reviewed by Jay Freeman

A skilled and fair writer, Weiner resists the temptation to portray FBI officials as thugs with badges.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Below average
Reviewed by Brian Fishman on Feb 26 2012

"Enemies' " weakness is not what was written but what was omitted. . .it leaves a gap in understanding the agency's culture, which undoubtedly does value the rule of law.

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The Daily Beast

Excellent
Reviewed by Ben Jacobs on Feb 14 2012

. . .an exciting and fast-paced narrative that focuses on the bureau’s perennial enemy, the Fourth Amendment, and civil liberties generally.

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Boston.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Kate Tuttle on Mar 04 2012

. . .extensively researched, admirably understated, yet terrifically entertaining book. . .

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Los Angeles Review of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Jon Wiener on May 08 2012

. . .Weiner didn't need to take up the question of whether. . .Hoover was gay. But he did. . .Weiner seems to think that, because there's no evidence that the two actually had sex, you can't call their relationship "homosexual."

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History News Network

Below average
Reviewed by Susan Rosenfeld on Apr 16 2012

For as experienced a journalist as Weiner. . .to enliven his text with melodramatic descriptions of Hoover’s (and others) supposed feelings is surprising.

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Mother Jones

Below average
Reviewed by Adam Serwer on Apr 18 2012

. . .Enemies leaves the reader with the impression that today's FBI is more effective and less lawless than it's ever been. This is no doubt true. But given that once-illegal activity has become legal, it's less comforting.

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Reader Rating for Enemies
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admin 16 Feb 2013

Rated the book as 3 out of 5

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