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The FBI encyclopedia /

Main Author: Newton, Michael, 1951-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., 2003
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Review by Choice Review

Beginning with a questionable premise, "nearly everything you know about the FBI is wrong," the introduction poses decidedly partisan and challenging questions about the agency's work in a democracy that may lead librarians to question the overall balance of the contents. This unique reference work, the latest offering by the creator of The FBI Most Wanted: An Encyclopedia (CH, Apr'90; rev. ed., 1993), offers alphabetically arranged entries that cover the period from the formation of the agency in 1908 to 2003 and emphasize biographical materials on notable agency directors and other public officials (including US presidents) involved with them, federal statutes related to field actions, agency structure, procedures and programs, histories of allied and investigated organizations, and famous cases. Seven appendixes list more specialized data ranging from a valuable list of internal abbreviations and acronyms to a chronology of FBI activities and to radio, television, and film depictions of agents in the field. Although standard reference works in criminology include entries for the FBI, this is the only encyclopedic work devoted specifically to this agency. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. College and university libraries. R. B. M. Ridinger Northern Illinois University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

Newton, author of two other books on the FBI, asserts that nearly everything you know about the FBI is wrong and the organization is deliberately shrouded in mystery. Newton's purpose is to eliminate some of the secrecy that surrounds the FBI while acknowledging that it is impossible to disclose a complete picture of an organization whose records are in large part unavailable to the public. Coverage begins in 1908, the year of the bureau's creation, and ends in early 2003. Entries are arranged alphabetically and range from a single paragraph to several pages. Access to articles is aided by cross-references directly in the text and a detailed index. Entries fall under broad categories: biographical sketches (Hoover,ohn Edgar); organizational practices (Wiretapping); programs (COINTELPRO ); notable cases (Watergate scandal); federal legislation authorizing investigations (Mann Act); histories of other relevant organizations (KGB); and miscellaneous entries (Prohibition). The text is supplemented by appendixes, including a chronology that is current as of November 2002 but omits some significant events, such as the Oklahoma City bombing. Finally, the book contains an extensive bibliography of both scholarly and popular sources. The work successfully reveals the sinister side of the FBI, such as its surveillance of individuals and groups, questionable information-gathering practices, and. Edgar Hoover's inaction with respect to civil rights investigations. Articles are generally well written in a journalistic style; however, information is not always presented in a neutral tone. Furthermore, the text contains typographical errors, which detracts from the quality of the writing. The FBI Encyclopedia covers material similar to The FBI: A Comprehensive Reference Guide (Oryx, 1999), though Newton's offering is neither as scholarly nor as objective. It is useful as an overview that is accessible to a general audience. Moreover, it contains articles on topics of current interest, such as the USA Patriot Act, the anthrax cases of 2001, and spy Robert Hanssen. This work is suitable for public libraries. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

The product of more than 40 years of research, this is Newton's third book dedicated solely to the FBI and the first ever published that presents the full scope of bureau history in an encyclopedia format. Spanning nearly 90 years and ranging from Robert William Abel to Louis Zukofsky, the entries include biographies, organizational histories, and legislative profiles as well as coverage of famous cases and FBI structure, programs, and procedures. The entries are both informative and interesting and include people and organizations targeted by the bureau. Among the significant people and events portrayed are John Dillinger, W.C. Fields, the JFK assassination, militia movements, Elvis Presley, Watergate, and the USA PATRIOT Act. This excellent reference tool will have great appeal to a wide audience, not just those with a special interest in criminal justice. Highly recommended.-Tim Delaney, SUNY at Oswego (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.