Review by Booklist Review
Figliuzzi served the Federal Bureau of Investigation in various positions for nearly three decades, from special agent to assistant director. His tenure led to him working on cases from kidnapping to counterterrorism. As Figliuzzi posits, the FBI's integrity and staying power owes itself to the seven C's: Code, Conservancy, Clarity, Consequences, Compassion, Credibility, and Consistency. The FBI distinguishes itself by its rigorous training program, where the best of applicants are tested physically and mentally to determine their fitness to be an FBI agent. The code of conduct is aptly described in the bureau's motto, "Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity." Figliuzzi describes how the lack of code can unravel a career. The case studies he provides exemplify how the FBI is a model of the aforementioned seven C's, whether it be how a case of misconduct was handled internally or how agents responded to well-known threats like the 2001 Anthrax attacks. Though the FBI has taken hits recently, which the author addresses, his book shines as a positive view of the storied agency.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A leadership book from the FBI's former head of counterintelligence. Figliuzzi rightly notes that an exceptional organization maintains high ethical standards, but the way the author communicates his concepts is not as potent as some would expect from a former special agent. The book mixes ideas that will be familiar to readers of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations and Sun Tzu's Art of War except instead of deception, integrity is the recipe for success. Though Figliuzzi offers explanations of the principles that guide the FBI, the text is largely a series of anecdotes. Many organizations could stand to implement the FBI's purported moral uprightness, but the book is not a how-to manual. The author hints at many of the disturbing crimes he no doubt witnessed during his years of service, and his accounts of consoling surviving family members of deceased agents are touching. One particularly thrilling story involves the high-speed chase of a suspected terrorist across half of the country. "FBI surveillance units in state after state had been handing off Zazi like a toxic baton in a deadly relay race," writes Figliuzzi. Most of the other stories are only mildly interesting, but they all do illustrate the value of the FBI. The author wrote this book when it was "time to defend and extol the work of the FBI," and he does just that; he certainly goes against the grain of current criticism of law enforcement. Late in the book, we learn that Figliuzzi held the position "referred to as the nation's top spy catcher," but there is little spy-catching to be found. The author relates events through James Comey's departure and the early pandemic. Perhaps the clandestine nature of the FBI prevents Figliuzzi from telling us what we really want to hear, or maybe it's just too soon. A surprisingly middle-of-the-road book. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.