1972 to 1997, Raymond J. Batvinis was a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. During his
federal law enforcement career he also served in the Federal Bureau of Investigation Intelligence Division Training Unit.
Raymond Batvinis is the author of The Origins of FBI Counterintelligence.
to the book description of The Origins of FBI Counterintelligence, “As the world prepared
for war in the 1930s, the United States discovered that it faced the real threat of foreign spies stealing military and industrial
secrets—and that it had no established means to combat them. Into that breach stepped J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI.
the FBI’s expanded role in World War II has been well documented, few have examined the crucial period before Pearl
Harbor when the Bureau’s powers secretly expanded to face the developing international emergency. Former FBI agent Raymond
Batvinis now tells how the Bureau grew from a small law enforcement unit into America’s first organized counter-espionage
and counterintelligence service. 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. He takes readers
behind the scenes, as the State Department and Hoover fought fiercely over the control of counterintelligence, and tells how
the agency combined its crime-fighting expertise with its new wiretapping authority to spy on foreign agents.
on newly declassified documents and interviews with former agents, Batvinis’s account reconstructs and greatly expands
our understanding of the FBI’s achievements and failures during this period. Among these were the Bureau’s mishandling
of the 1938 Rumrich/Griebl spy case, which Hoover slyly used to broaden his agency’s powers; its cracking of the Duquesne
Espionage Case in 1941, which enabled Hoover to boost public and congressional support to new heights; and its failure to
understand the value of Soviet agent Walter Krivitsky, which slowed Bureau efforts to combat Soviet espionage
In addition, Batvinis offers a new view of the relationship between the FBI and
the military, cites the crucial contributions of British intelligence to the FBI’s counter-intelligence education, and
reveals the agency’s ultra-secret role in mining financial records for the Treasury Department. He also reviews the
early days of the top-secret Special Intelligence Service, which quietly dispatched FBI agents posing as businessmen to South
America to spy on their governments.
With an insider’s knowledge and a storyteller’s
skill, Batvinis provides a page-turning history narrative that greatly revises our views of the FBI—and also resonates
powerfully with our own post-9/11 world.”