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Enemies: A History of the FBI


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Speaker(s): Tim Weiner
Chair: Professor George Gaskell

Recorded on 13 March 2012 in Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House.

The United States is a country founded on the ideals of democracy and freedom, yet throughout the last century it has used secret and lawless methods to destroy its enemies. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is the most powerful of these forces. Following his award-winning history of the C.I.A., Legacy of Ashes, Tim Weiner has now written the first full history of the F.B.I. as a secret intelligence service, Enemies: A History of the FBI| which he will talk about in this lecture. Drawn entirely from firsthand materials in the F.B.I.'s own files, Enemies brilliantly brings to life the entire story, from the cracking of anarchist cells to the prosecution of the 'war on terror'. It is the story of America's war against spies, subversives and saboteurs - and the self-inflicted wounds American democracy suffered in battle. Throughout the book lies the long shadow of J. Edgar Hoover, who ran the F.B.I. with an iron fist for forty-eight years. He was not a monster, but a brilliant confidence man who ruled by fear, force, and fraud. His power shaped America; his legacy haunts it.

Tim Weiner is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist at the New York Times, where he has reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan and fifteen other nations. He was based for a decade in Washington, DC, where he covered the C.I.A. and the Military - the latter topic being the subject of his Blank Check: The Pentagon's Black Budget. He is the author of the bestselling Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA, which won the 2007 National Book Award for Non-Fiction.

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