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Enemies: A History of the FBI Audiobook, by Tim Weiner Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Tim Weiner Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2012 ISBN: 9780307933942
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“Turns the long history of the FBI into a story that is as compelling, and important, as today’s headlines.”—Jeffrey Toobin, author of American Heiress

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, New York Daily News, and Slate

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.

Praise for Enemies

“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 skulduggery, 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 Dark Money

“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

“Fascinating.”The Wall Street Journal

“Important and disturbing . . . with all the verve and coherence of a good spy thriller.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Exciting and fast-paced.”The Daily Beast Download and start listening now!

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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

  • Tim Weiner’s Enemies is the most comprehensive history of the FBI as an intelligence agency we have ever had. Based 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. The book is also a cautionary tale that is essential reading for anyone concerned about American civil liberties. Robert Dallek, author of An Unfinished Life

  • 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, Ph.D., Stanford University, author of Spying Blind
  • “Turns the long history of the FBI into a story that is as compelling, and important, as today’s headlines. Jeffrey Toobin, author of American Heiress

  • 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 skulduggery, 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 Dark Money
  • Outstanding. The New York Times
  • Fascinating. The Wall Street Journal
  • Absorbing . . . a sweeping narrative that is all the more entertaining because it is so redolent with screw-ups and scandals. Los Angeles Times
  • Important and disturbing . . . with all the verve and coherence of a good spy thriller. The New York Times Book Review
  • Exciting and fast-paced. The Daily Beast
  • Pulitzer-Prize–winning author Tim Weiner has written a riveting inside account of the FBI’s secret machinations that goes so deep into the Agency’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 Dark Money
  • “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.”

    Spectator

  • “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 Reviews

Write a Review
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Raimo | 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 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 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 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. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jaimebenfer | 1/26/2014

    " Interesting information but VERY dry. Kind of like reading a school text book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ross | 1/14/2014

    " The complete history of the FBI and the absolute disaster that it has been. Every American should be required to read this book and get an idea of "we're from the government, we're here to protect you." Hoover used his secret illegal files to blackmail people in power to gain more power for his own empire. The truth is there was more corruption in the FBI itself than they have ever uncovered in their job to protect the public. Very sad reading. Finally under current Director Mueller the FBI begins to obey the law. Interesting account of Cheney telling Mueller to place wire taps without legal review and Mueller goes to Bush and says "It's against the law, and if you order me to do it I will resign." Bush says "Oh, I didn't know it was against the law." Confirming he is ether a liar or a moron. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 1/9/2014

    " Shows what a vile and corrupt little man J. Edgar really was and how eager our government can be to invade our privacy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zoe | 1/9/2014

    " A great read! Very informative and keeps you interested. This book will make you want to check your phone lines! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cyndi | 12/7/2013

    " Informative, clear and well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Casey | 10/3/2013

    " It was an interesting read like his book on the CIA. The title is a little misleading in that he only covered the FBI's attempt at intelligence work concerning foreign countries and nothing about their involvement in dealing with domestic crimes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 7/7/2013

    " Did you know the FBI spent most of its resources over the past 75 years fighting communism? That and other well kept secrets are revealed in this well researched (Freedom of Information Act)and fairly balanced investigative work. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nathalie | 4/8/2013

    " finally, very slow read at times "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 3/3/2013

    " I was hopping this book would be more interesting. It covered the 100 year history of the FBI but I did not feel the story was well told. At times the narrative lacked flow and seemed disconnected. The content was well researched and interesting but never grabbed me to keep reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nativeabuse | 2/12/2013

    " Fantastic book, 10/10, wish it was longer and even more indepth. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brent | 11/3/2012

    " Parts were very interesting. Too much information to digest at one time. I would have to read it a couple times to really feel like I've taken sometihng out of this book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kimberly | 10/31/2012

    " Fantastic. Very interesting look at history of our government, particularly a series of presidents, through the eyes of the FBI. Very well done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 8/17/2012

    " I actually rank this book a 4.5/5 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katherine | 5/22/2012

    " Very informative and slightly biased but easy to look over for all facts and statistics are upheld by databases. "

About the Author

Tim Weiner has covered American intelligence for the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Times and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1988. He has traveled extensively to report first-hand on CIA covert operations and has lectured at the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency to audiences of senior officials.

About the Narrator

Stefan Rudnicki first became involved with audiobooks in 1994. Now a Grammy-winning audiobook producer, he has worked on more than three thousand audiobooks as a narrator, writer, producer, or director. He has narrated more than three hundred audiobooks. A recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, he was presented the coveted Audie Award for solo narration in 2005, 2007, and 2014, and was named one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices in 2012.