Ray Batvinis Books

Read Chapter One – 2nd Book

chap1270 Read the first chapter of Hoover's Secret War Against Axis Spies: FBI Counterespionage During World War II. This complete chapter tells the story of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's moment-by-moment weekend when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Read the Chapter

Read Chapter One – 1st Book

Chapter 1 - Rumrich Read the first chapter of The Origins of FBI Counterintelligence. This complete chapter tells the story of Nazis spies operating in America, particularly focusing on the case of Guenther Rumrich, his arrest by the FBI, and how the case changed the FBI. Read the Chapter

Praise for Hoover’s Secret War

"This is a monumental book, breaking new ground in the field of secret intelligence. . . . I strongly suspect Batvinis will write a third book, covering the early years of the Cold War. When complete, that body of work should stand alongside Rick Atkinson’s Liberation trilogy as an essential source for anyone interested in America’s soldiers and spies."—Tim Weiner, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize recipient; has written extensively about US intelligence

FBI in Moscow

Strange Wartime Odyssey of Louis Beck, FBI Read a fascinating article by Ray Batvinis about FBI Agent Louis Beck who was sent undercover to the US Embassy in Moscow during WW2 to assess the security situation in the embassy. What he found was shockingly lax security attitudes that allowed the Soviet NKVD control of the place -- and of secret US codes. Read more

FBI in Honolulu

FBI-in-Honolulu-270 Relive the hour-to-hour experiences of the FBI field office in Honolulu as they respond to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Read more

Lecture in Paris

Ray Batvinis gave a lecture about "Secrets of the FBI, World War II and France." Watch

Talk at State Department

Ray Batvinis lectures about his book, “Hoover’s Secret War Against Axis Spies,” at the State Department. Watch

Watch Videos

videopixCheck out all the videos on FBI Studies related to FBI history and espionage. Video Page

FBI Studies Blog

Looking back at a previous refugee crisis

I was interviewed by Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald who wrote an article about a previous time the US refused to let refugees in: 1939 ‘Voyage of the Damned’ raises questions about treatment of Syrian refugees (Miami Herald) It would become known, with heartbreak and infamy, as the Voyage of the Damned. Seventy-six years […]

Crosby’s Luck

It was a great pleasure writing about my dear friend Ken Crosby, FBI SIS, in the latest issue of the Grapevine, published by the Society of Former Agents of the FBI: Crosby’s Luck (pdf) A wide grin would have crossed his face over the Cuban and U.S governments’ reestablishment of embassies in Havana and Washington. After all, he had lived in […]

Rhetoric Without Action

This morning President Obama speaking from Anatalya, Turkey where he is attending the G 20 Summit expressed his outrage over the ISIS attacks at six separate sites in Paris causing nearly five hundred casualties. It was an attack on the civilized world, he insisted, and America will “redouble” its efforts to meet the increasing threat […]

Harry’s Lessons

Sometimes I wonder if America’s political leaders consider the lessons of history when confronting today’s life and death issues. Some months ago I blogged about the unconscionable decision by American cell phone manufacturers to turn encryption control over to the user. A move that took away the companies’ ability to decrypt this data for government […]

Documentary on Soviet Defectors

Today I was interviewed by Rustem Safronov (above left), a Russian, a PRA and a journalist doing leg work on a Cold War documentary focusing on Soviet defectors for RT, a Russian television outlet, based in Moscow with ten million viewers. I discussed Elizabeth Bentley. The documentary is scheduled for airing in December. We’ll post a YouTube […]

Pollard – It’s the Right Decision

A few weeks ago when I picked up my copy of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) my attention focused on the front-page headline “U.S. Plans to Free Israeli Spy.” The article concerned former navy analyst, Jonathan “Jay” Pollard, who, along with his wife, Anne Henderson Pollard, was arrested by the FBI on November 17, 1985 […]

The Kidnap Racket: E.J. Connelley and the Weyerhaeuser Kidnapping

This historical article by Brian Hunt recently appeared in The Grapevine, a publication of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI: The New York Times called it “the greatest manhunt in the history of the Northwest.” On May 24, 1935, nine year-old George Weyerhaeuser was kidnapped in Tacoma, WA. Eight days later, he returned safely […]

Secrets of the FBI, World War II and France

My lecture at Cercle K2, a Paris based think-tank that seeks solutions to the social, political and economic problems facing the world today. I am proud to acknowledge that I am a founding member. The lecture was held at the beautiful Ferdinand Foch Auditorium on the grounds of Ecole Militaire in Paris, France on June 24, 2015 before an […]

My Afternoon Journey

On the evening of June 24, 2015 I gave a lecture in Paris, France before an audience numbering more than seven hundred. All were guests of Cercle K2, a Paris based think-tank that seeks solutions to the social, political and economic problems facing the world today. I am proud to acknowledge that I am a […]

Review of book in Michigan War Studies Review

My latest book was recently reviewed by Francis MacDonnell, Southern Virginia University, in the 2015 Michigan War Studies Review: Hoover’s Secret War against Axis Spies is a major contribution to the literature on World War II intelligence, particularly the role of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a wartime counterespionage organization. It also explores the […]

FBI Studies Tweets