The Bureau

  • by Ronald Kessler
  • Narrated by Raymond Todd
  • 17 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Bureau takes listeners behind the scenes of the FBI, from its creation in 1908 to the scandals of present day. Based on exclusive interviews, Kessler reveals the inside story surrounding the events of September 11 and the investigation into the anthrax mailings. The Bureau delves deep within the agency, presenting the organization in its historical context and answering questions concerning its somewhat checkered past.This incredible book includes the first definitive evidence that Hoover blackmailed Congress with information from his secret files; the source of Senator Joseph McCarthy's bogus claims that there were 205 Communists in the State Department; the truth about J. Edgar Hoover's sexual orientation; and the disastrous Freeh years, and Robert Mueller's efforts to correct the problems created by Freeh.


What the Critics Say

"A must-read...a compelling account." (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"The reading is excellent, adding a substantial dimension to absorbing material." (Kliatt)
"Colorful and fascinating...Kessler's sobering report...will come as a surprise to most readers - and possibly even Washington insiders....Chilling." (Washington Post Book World)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good book poor narator

This has to be one of the most annoying narrators I've listened to all the way through. I can handle mono-tone and other quirks, but this guy doesn't know how to pronounce MANY simple words/names. i.e. SAC ("Sack"; for Special Agent in Charge), Ickes (Harold Ickes, pronounced Ick-ees, has been in democratic administrations from FDR to Clinton), and many more.
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- Rich

Good Read, Bad Listen

This audio book is a great example of how a good book can be butchered by a bad narration. Kessler uses his connections within the FBI to present an interesting history of the Bureau from J. Edgar Hoover to the modern era, providing some depth on a number of headline cases and skimming over quite a few lesser ones. The book's sub-title "The Secret History of the FBI" is very misleading. There's little information here that's not covered elsewhere, particularly in the narratives on Hoover, the Lindbergh kidnapping, organized crime cases, Martin Luther King and the civil rights era as well as old and recent spy cases. However, Kessler digs up information on the inner workings of each of the FBI's directors, particularly William Sessions that is not well known. The section on Sessions and his wife alledges numerous ethical allegations, much previously reported. If you're interested in an overview of the history of the FBI, hitting on the key figures and cases, this is an good choice. But READ it. The audio narration of this work by Raymond Todd is just short of horrendous. Todd plods through the pages as if he's in a hurry to finish and get to another appointment. It's clear that there was no effort to edit the audio and clean up mistakes, of which there are numerous. It's also clear the narrator did not pre-read the material before firing up the microphone. The "Road and Gun Club" not "Rod and Gun Club" is just one example of numerous misreads. The listener can hear the reader squirming in his chair, there's moments when it sounds like the narrator is eating and sometimes getting dry throat or choaking. Worst the is apathetic tone throughout the read that made me wish I had the book in hand rather than the narrator in my ears for 17+ hours.
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- Blake

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-06-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.