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Download "The Eye That Never Sleeps": A History of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency epub

by Frank Morn

Looks at the development of private and public police forces in the U.S., describes the changing nature of detective work, and discusses the growing public concern about the role and power of police
Download "The Eye That Never Sleeps": A History of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency epub
ISBN: 0253320860
ISBN13: 978-0253320865
Category: Business
Subcategory: Processes & Infrastructure
Author: Frank Morn
Language: English
Publisher: Indiana University Press; 1st Edition edition (April 1, 1982)
Pages: 244 pages
ePUB size: 1886 kb
FB2 size: 1367 kb
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 629
Other Formats: mobi mbr lrf docx

Amazon has become one of my main sources for research material for projects I'm working on. Although I've heard about the Pinkerton Agency all my life, this book gave me a better understanding of their history and impact they had on law enforcement. Well written and easy to read.
Got this book for my son and he Loved it. He is ever so curios about things and this book(which he requested) didn't disappoint him.
This book examines the social functions of the police from the 1850s to the 1920. The Pinkerton National Detective Agency filled the gaps of the inadequate public police and their limited jurisdiction. They would spy on workers for the "Robber Barons" and gather evidence in divorce cases. Because of their distrust by the working classes and the middle-class the Pinkertons projected an image of incorruptibility. The Bibliography has 14 pages that list relevant books. The 'Preface' says the Pinkertons were like a mercenary army (p.1). Writers of fiction developed "a private detective mystique" for adventure stories. The 'Introduction' traces the history of police work from Medieval England when all citizens were involved to the 17th century when volunteer citizens became scarce (p.2). The Bow Street Runners were created to handle the problem of crime detection. In 1829 Robert Peel organized a new police force (p.6). Morn compares the French police system (political spying) to the English constabulary (crime prevention). Police forces began in the big cities around the 1850s (pp.12-13)

Part One tells of their beginnings. The new crime of embezzlement was created to control theft by wage earning clerks and agents (p.18). [An owner-operated business did not have this problem.] Private detectives were created to oversee employees when the owner was away. Allan Pinkerton was a Chartist who sought democracy and who fled Scotland to avoid political persecution (p.19). Pinkerton discovered and arrested a gang of rural counterfeiters, and became a professional detective as a deputy Sheriff (p.21), then worked for the Treasury Department (counterfeiters) and the Post Office (mail thefts). The railroads brought many changes to America, one was the need for protection of railroad property (p.25). This chapter explains the early history of police departments and the features recognizable today. The Civil War gave Pinkerton new experiences and acquaintances with business and military leaders. When Pinkertons spied on conductors, they were being spotted by union representatives (p.63). The depression of the 1870s found new business: searching for Communists and the Molly Maguires (p.66). Private organizations were created to fight vice and gambling. Pinkertons refused rewards, their operatives worked for a set wage (p.73). Detective stories date from the 1840s, and Allan Pinkerton's books added to the true crime genre (pp.80-81).

Part Two tells how the sons of Pinkerton ran the agency during the next decades. Robert expanded the Protective Patrol to watch private businesses like race tracks (a steady income). The consolidation of railroads led to company police (p.94). The Depression of 1877 saw increased railroad strikes (p.96). One response was the National Guard movement, controlled by businessmen rather than the traditional town and county militias (p.97). Pinkertons provided scab workers to destroy a major strike in 1888 (p.101). From 1889 to 1899 24 states banned armed guards, like the uniformed Pinkerton Protective Patrol (p.107). In the 1890s Pinkertons concentrated on professional criminals and crime prevention. Horse racing clubs were followed by bookmaking (p.113). They fought aggressively any crime against their bank members. Their national organization gave them an advantage over localized police departments. The Pinkerton brothers called for prison reform to rehabilitate first-time offenders (p.135). The great depression of the 1890s saw a new class of criminals ("yeggs") and a new jargon (pp.142-143). The Pinkertons used informants (p.146).

Part Three tells about operations in the early 20th century, and some famous cases. Morris Friedman wrote a book about their operations, equating them to a secret police (p.158). They were able to censor Charles Siringo first book, then confiscated printing plates for his second book (p.162). The Pinkertons were at their peak, but competition came from developing state and federal police systems and other private agencies. Strike-breaking became a profitable business, companies hired their private police (pp.167-168). State police agencies began to be created for rural policing, but were disliked on political grounds (p.168). Rival agencies grew from former policemen and Secret Service men, like William J. Burns. When the IACP called for the prohibition of handguns Burns came out against this (p.179). A growing government Bureau of Investigation created new rivalry. The 1920s saw increasing state regulation of private detectives (pp.182-183).

The 1920s saw the Pinkertons switch to security and property protection, and rivals planted spies in unions or "roped" members into providing information (p.187). The 1930s saw increasing centralization of police administration (p.189). Police academies gave formal training. Prohibition was followed by the rising power of organized gangs (p.189). FDR enlarged the role of the government police (p.191). J.Edgar Hoover adopted the methods of Allan Pinkerton (p.192). The government did crime detection while Pinkertons became private guards. In effect, private businesses were replaced by socialized agencies.