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The FBI: Inside the World's Most Powerful Law Enforcement Agency Hardcover – 1 Sep 1993


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"According to bureau legend, a New York FBI agent went to lunch at a deli around the corner from the field office, then on Sixty-ninth Street at Third Avenue." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 17 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Average But Fair 17 April 2002
By John G. Hilliard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is another around the world in 8 days tour of an American institution by Kessler. The author is presenting a book that is billed as basically an overview of the FBI as it is today with some history through in to give it some background and a few real life cases peppered through out the book for spice. The author has always done a good job in these large overview books and he has maintained that level here.
He has been working with contacts from this agency for years so there is some interesting inside info that will be new to the reader, but a lot of the really interesting stuff has been spelled out in an number of other books or TV programs. The book is a well written and constructed story with a good road map though the years and departments. The reader does not get lost in a jumble of department abbreviations. A good overview book that is probably what most readers are looking for.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A fair, balanced, and unbiased review of the modern FBI. 18 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When reading books on law enforcement, one has to be careful to avoid those which only glorify an agency, or only villify it. Mr. Kessler was granted an unmatched access to FBI agents for writing this book, and has chronicled the many successes of the agency, as well as some of its most public embarrasements.
He pulls no punches when describing the shortcomings of agents and past fiascos, he names names and assigns blame. The final chapter of the book goes into detail about the previous director, William Sessions, his successes certainly, but also the abuses that he uncovered during the research of his book. His revelations led to Sessions' firing.
He describes with a great deal of detail the workings of the agency on the street level, in the field offices, and at headquarters. One gets a good look at policies, procedures, training, and special ops. But most especially, he talks about real agents, men and women who deserve our respect for the jobs they perform.! The human interest in this book is very good, making it an easy book to read, and leaving one with a sense that the FBI is in fact the greatest law enforcement agency in the world.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent insider account of the agency 8 May 2004
By Michael Gordon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The FBI is one of the most respected yet least understood agencies in the federal government. Given it is frequently misunderstood, this is an excellent book to inform the public about the FBI's history, the good and the bad.
The book focuses on an important concept, and that is the difference between the occupant of a position in the government, and the position itself. While past directors of the FBI may have had questionable integrity (Hoover, Sessions), this does not cast a negative light on the institution itself. People are corrupt, not institutions. No one is above the law, and yes, the author makes a good point that everyone who works for the FBI should be subject to the same rules and regulations that any common citizen does. That means off-duty speedy FBI agents must be subject to the same traffic rules as anyone else. No one is above the law, not even the president, as Mr. Clinton learned.
I especially enjoyed learning about some of the past techniques the FBI used to shut down major criminal organizations. As Kessler makes note, many criminal enterprises work similar to businesses. One method -- creating shell companies, including cell phone companies and bars -- to meet and get to know these thugs -- is an incredible idea. The FBI's surveillance techniques are second to none, and while the author was able to discuss some obvious ones, the FBI's true secrets are left unmentioned, a good thing for Joe Citizen who just wants criminals taken off the street.
An excellent book.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
An excellent book for FBI applicants 16 Jun 1999
By erinandal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent well-written book covering various aspects of the FBI. As a law enforcment officer, this book has enlightened me to apply to the FBI. They are a remarkable organization making grand changes in law enforcement nationwide. This book is recommended to anyone in law enforement. Once you read this, you'll want to be an FBI agent.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book about the premier law enforcement agency 2 Mar 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is an excellent book about the recent history of the FBI and a good look at how the FBI operates. Kessler not only praises the FBI when it is warranted, but he also critiques it and exposes some problems. The book alternates chapters between looking at various field offices; ie Baltimore, Dallas, and others; with a look at the various departments within the agency; ie criminal profiling. It is informative, easy to read, and fun. If you want a look inside the FBI, read this book.
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