Sunday, August 28, 2011

Review: The Threat Matrix

Title: The Threat Matrix
Author: Garrett Graff
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publish Date: March 1, 2011
Source: Netgalley

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're looking for a good history of some of the major events that have affected the United States.
  • You're interested in politics and history.
  • You're interested in knowing more about what happened.
What's the Story?:

From "THE THREAT MATRIX is the story of a small group of FBI agents and FBI Director Robert Mueller, who believed that they could confront a new generation of international terrorist groups like al Qaeda without sacrificing America's moral high ground. From the corridors of the Hoover Building to the cells of Gitmo and the mountains of Afghanistan, Yemen and Pakistan, Graff tells the true story of how a generation of FBI agents taught themselves to confront threats no one had ever seen before. THE THREAT MATRIX is also the story of the war within the war: the fierce battles between the FBI and CIA and Bush Administration, and within the Bureau itself.

Spanning five decades and eight presidents, the product of unprecedented access and vast historical detective work, THE THREAT MATRIX is a landmark investigation that reads like a spy thriller."

My Two Cents:

With the advent of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 drawing near, I've been thinking a lot of how much has changed in the past 10 years with regard to the way that our world is. I very vividly remember where I was on 9/11 and everything on that day has totally changed the way that our Intelligence Community works. The FBI has been at the forefront of many of these changes and the way that the agency works and what it does has come into the spotlight. This book covers more of the history of the FBI but a great majority of the book covers just prior to 9/11 and the ten years after 9/11.

I took this book with me on vacation and it was a good pick (okay, maybe not so great to read on the airplane because of the subject matter but on the ground it was wonderful). I'm deeply interested in all things history and politics. The FBI has gone from a mostly domestic agency to an agency that has a presence in many parts of the world. This book is definitely engaging and is really accessible for those who don't really like non-fiction all that much. 

One of the best things about this book is to read about the back stories of the different investigations that the FBI has conducted. The lead up to 9/11 was also interested to read about. There were so many mistakes leading up to the event and I really hope that the FBI has learned something since then. Graff did a wonderful job making this book really readable and enjoyable for the most part. There were some parts that were a little more drawn out than they really needed to be.

Bottom line: This book should definitely be read by anyone that has an interest in the Intelligence Community.

My Review:
4 out of 5 stars


  1. I really am interested in books about 9/11 but I don't think I would feel so optimistic about the FBI having changed much because of it!

  2. The topic really fascinates me, so this is definitely one for the wish list. Also, I wrote a post on how much info books should be allowed to reveal about 9/11 just this morning! Serendipity. :)

  3. @rhapsodyinbooks The book makes the point that they've tried to "turn the ship around" but the FBI is definitely a big boat to turn. The re-structuring that went on under the Department of Homeland Security doesn't really help either!

  4. @Trisha It really is fascinating. I'm sure there will be a lot more books covering the same sort of subjects with the 10 year anniversary coming up of 9/11.

  5. I've never heard of this before, but it looks great. I love it when bloggers write about slightly obscure books - it means I get to hear about books I never would have otherwise :)

    Haha, I can't believe you read it on an airplane. That's not the kind of thing you want in your mind at that time!


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