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The Pinkerton Agency

The History of Allan Pinkerton and America's First Major Private Detective Organization
Narrated by: Scott Clem
Length: 2 hrs and 9 mins

Regular price: $6.95

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Publisher's Summary

The private detective looms large in popular culture, both in the United States and around the world. From Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes to Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe and even Thomas Magnum from the 1980s, private detectives have been a staple of novels, movies, and television shows for well over a century. The loner for hire, trying to solve a mystery or right a wrong using nothing but their own brain (in Holmes’ case), brawn (in Marlowe’s case), or boy next door charm (in Magnum’s case), is deeply rooted in the collective psyche of generations of men and women. The fact that today’s private detective is more likely to be chasing a cheating spouse than tracking down a desperate criminal is beside the point.

Holmes, Marlowe, and Magnum owe their existence to the first private detective - and if not the first, certainly in the United States the most famous. The name Allan Pinkerton was for decades synonymous with private detective; indeed, the work “Pinkerton” was generally used for any private detective whether or not they were associated with the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. The all-seeing eye that served as the symbol of his company and the slogan - “We Never Sleep” - projected an image of a detective working tirelessly to pursue a desperate criminal and bring them to justice. Through his career, Pinkerton went after bank robbers and railroad thieves, both relatively unknown and infamous like Frank and Jesse James. During the Civil War, he was instrumental in preventing the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and ran an extensive intelligence operation against the South. As America industrialized, his detectives were brought into labor disputes by management seeking to break attempts at unions. This last act put a stain on Pinkerton’s legacy, a legacy he tried to establish by publishing numerous books about his exploits and the exploits of his detectives. A self-promoter as much as a detective, Allan Pinkerton and his story is a quintessentially American one.

The Pinkerton Agency: The History of Allan Pinkerton and America’s First Major Private Detective Organization looks at the life story of the man who formed the detective agency, and the important milestones in the organization’s history. You will learn about the Pinkertons like never before.

©2019 Charles River Editors (P)2019 Charles River Editors

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