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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (624 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tim Weiner Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 as the most formidable intelligence force in American history.
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 protecting national security and infringing upon civil liberties. It is a tension that strains the very fabric of a free republic.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Important and disturbing…Wisely concentrating on the FBIs secret intelligence operations, Weiner lays bare a record of embarrassing, even stunning failure, in which the bureau’s lawlessness was matched only by its incompetence…Weiner…has done prodigious research, yet tells this depressing story with all the verve and coherence of a good spy thriller.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “What makes Enemies so compelling is that it draws heavily on previously unavailable intelligence files…Weiner uses them, and previously unheard oral histories, to set the record straight about the bureau’s conduct both in times of war and in times of peace…Enemies is more than a definitive history of the FBI. Weiner…is really writing about the basic tension between civil liberties and national security in this country.”

    Washington Post

  • “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

  • “Absorbing…A sweeping narrative that is all the more entertaining because it is so redolent with screw-ups and scandals.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Pulitzer Prize–winning author Tim Weiner has written a riveting inside account of the FBI’s secret machinations that goes so deep into the Bureau’s skullduggery, readers will feel they are tapping the phones along with J. Edgar Hoover. This is a book that every American who cares about civil liberties should read.”

    Jane Mayer, author of The Dark Side

  • “Terrifically entertaining.”

    Boston Sunday Globe

  • “A history that moves at the pace of a James Ellroy novel. But Weiner’s truth is wilder even than Ellroy’s fiction…He offers no opinions, just facts.”


  • “Mr. Weiner’s work is grounded in assiduous research and is the more compelling for it…A compendium of juicy spy stories…Enemies is an exhaustive chronicle and a very good read.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “A fascinating tale of the bureau’s successes and failures…An important and biting inquiry into an agency that protects Americans in a dangerous world while straining against the limitations we rightly impose on it.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Weiner has mastered the craft of the institutional history as well as any journalist, historian, or political scientist working in the English language.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “A thrilling experience and a superb book.”

    Time Out

  • “Drawing on newly declassified documents, this outstanding history lays bare almost all we can reasonably expect to know about the FBI…As illuminating about Washington politics as it is about the dark world of espionage and counterintelligence operations.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “An important, judicious account of the tension between national security and civil liberties.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Drawing on thousands of pages of recently declassified documents and oral histories, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Weiner…delivers an authoritative and often frightening history of what has been, in effect, America’s secret police…A sober, monumental and unflinchingly critical account of a problematic institution.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Enemies is a research masterpiece. Picking through seventy thousand newly declassified documents and using on-the-record interviews, Weiner reveals startling new truths and debunks nagging old myths about the FBI. Enemies reads like a thriller, but don’t let the heart-pumping prose fool you. Weiner has written a scholarly tour de force that will be an instant classic for any serious student of American national security.”

    Amy B. Zegart, PhD, author of Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Orgins of 9/11

  • “Tim Weiner’s Enemies is the most comprehensive history of the FBI as an intelligence agency we have ever had. Basing his text on extensive research in previously unavailable materials, Weiner gives us a fresh way to think about J. Edgar Hoover, the many presidents he worked with, and the FBI as a national security agency.”

    Robert Dallek, author of An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2012 Washington Post Notable Book for Nonfiction
  • A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title”, February 2012
  • A 2012 Slate Magazine Best Book for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Raimo Wirkkala | 2/15/2014

    " A fascinating and focussed account of the role that the FBI has played, for good and, more often, for ill, in US history. It is sobering to contemplate the regularity and enthusiasm with which the much-ballyhooed US constitution is shredded by those sworn to uphold it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mark | 2/11/2014

    " I was completely aggravated by this book, not because it is bad, but because it made me realize how much time, effort and money the United States has spent chasing boogeymen for the last century. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Chuck | 2/5/2014

    " A concise history with a focus on how the FBI worked within, and outside the Constitution. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sam | 1/27/2014

    " It was an interesting book, and compared well to what I had already read. Though, I think, not as good as The Threat Matrix, it definitely was informative, correct, and entertaining. "

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