The Interwar Period

Ackerman, Kenneth D. Young J. Edgar: Hoover, the Red Scare, and the Assault on Civil Liberties. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2007.

Goulden, Intelligencer 15.3 (Summer-Fall 2007), says that this book about Hoover's role in the so-called Palmer Raids of 1919-1920 is "[a] good read, despite an often annoying political slant." According to Publishers Weekly (via Amazon.com), although "many at the time believed J. Edgar Hoover played only a small role in the [Palmer] raids, in fact they were organized by Hoover, then only a 24-year-old Department of Justice agent who Ackerman describes as possessing an uncanny ability to please his superiors, a preternatural ability to attend to detail and a dangerously distorted moral compass."

Batvinis, Raymond J. The Origins of FBI Counterintelligence. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 2007.

From publisher: The author is a former FBI special agent . He covers "the crucial period before Pearl Harbor when the Bureau's powers secretly expanded to face the developing international emergency." Batvinis "examines the FBI's emerging new roles during the two decades leading up to America's entry into World War II to show how it cooperated and competed with other federal agencies." Peake, Studies 51.3 (2007), concludes that "[f]or those interested in how the FBI crafted its niche in the American national security program," this book "is the place to start."

Belknap, Michael. "Uncooperative Federalism: The Failure of the Bureau of Investigation's Intergovernmental Attack on Radicalism." Publius 12 (1982): 25-47.

Candeloro, Dominic. "Louis F. Post and the Red Scare of 1920." Prologue 11 (1979): 40-55.

Charles, Douglas M. "'Before the Colonel Arrived': Hoover, Donovan, Roosevelt, and the Origins of American Central Intelligence, 1940-41." Intelligence and National Security 20, no. 2 (Jun. 2005): 225-237.

Two FBI representatives arrived in the United Kingdom in late 1940 (that is, before Col. William Donovan arrived in early 1941). During their visit, "they surveyed British intelligence, met high-ranking intelligence officials, and reported back" to FBI Director Hoover. "The FBI director subsequently submitted a report to [President] Roosevelt ... that outlined the organization and methods of both the Security Service (MI5) and Secret Intelligence Service (SIS)."

Charles, Douglas M.

1. "Informing FDR: FBI Political Surveillance and the Isolationist-Interventionist Foreign Policy Debate, 1939-45." Diplomatic History 24 (Spring 2000): 211-232.

2. J. Edgar Hoover and the Anti-Interventionists: FBI Political Surveillance and the Rise of the Domestic Security State, 1939-1945. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 2007.

3 and John P. Rossi. "FBI Political Surveillance and the Charles Lindbergh Investigation, 1939-1944." The Historian 59 (1997): 831-847.

Fox, John F., Jr. "Early Days of the Intelligence Community: Bureaucratic Wrangling over Counterintelligence, 1917–18." Studies in Intelligence 49, no. 1 (2005), 9-17.

"As the United States prepared to send troops to fight in France in 1917,... foreign agents had been acting largely with impunity on domestic soil for three years.  Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo made what might appear to be a reasonable proposal: centralize all intelligence responsibility, especially counterintelligence, in a Bureau of Intelligence to be run by the Department of State or the Treasury Department.... [H]is proposal exacerbated a bureaucratic battle underway between the Treasury Department and the Department of Justice over how counterintelligence ... should be handled on the homefront. When the dust settled following the armistice of 1918, Justice's Bureau of Investigation -- the predecessor to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) -- came out on top as the agency in charge of domestic counterintelligence, a responsibility that has not been changed since that time."

Hannant, Larry. "Inter-War Security Screening in Britain, the United States and Canada." Intelligence and National Security 6, no. 4 (Oct. 1991): 711-735.

The internal security forces of Canada (RCMP), Britain (MI5), and the United States (FBI) all declined in numbers of personnel from the early 1920s into the 1930s. Nevertheless, these services worked "to broaden the range of their security operations." One of the "important new enterprises they launched in this time" was "systematic security screening of civil servants and even industrial workers."

MacDonnell, Francis. Insidious Foes: The Axis Fifth Column and the American Home Front. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Hansen, History 26.1, calls Insidious Foes "the first comprehensive treatment" of the Fifth Column scare in the United States between 1938 and 1942. MacDonnell's work "is notable for its judicious argument, cohesive organization, and enlarged perspective."

McCormick, Charles H. Seeing Reds: Federal Surveillance of Radicals in the Pittsburgh Mill District, 1917-1921. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997.

For Wannall, IJI&C 12.1, the author "demonstrates an anti-government attitude ... [and] displays an inborn dislike of some government officials, including J. Edgar Hoover, on whose plate he ladled accusations, holding him responsible for the actions of the personnel of an agency he did not head or control."

Williams, David.

1. "The Bureau of Investigation and Its Critics, 1919-1921: The Origins of Federal Political Surveillance." Journal of American History 68 (1981): 560-579. [Petersen]

2. "Failed Reform: FBI Political Surveillance, 1924-1936." First Principles 7, no. 1 (1981): 1-4. [Petersen]

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