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Freedom's Detective: The Secret Service, the Ku Klux Klan and the Man Who Masterminded America's First War on Terror

Freedom's Detective: The Secret Service, the Ku Klux Klan and the Man Who Masterminded America's First War on Terror

by Charles Lane

Paperback(Original)

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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on March 17, 2020

Overview

Freedom’s Detective reveals the untold story of the Reconstruction-era United States Secret Service and their battle against the Ku Klux Klan, through the career of its controversial chief, Hiram C. Whitley

In the years following the Civil War, a new battle began. Newly freed African American men had gained their voting rights and would soon have a chance to transform Southern politics. Former Confederates and other white supremacists mobilized to stop them. Thus, the KKK was born.

After the first political assassination carried out by the Klan, Washington power brokers looked for help in breaking the growing movement. They found it in Hiram C. Whitley. He became head of the Secret Service, which had previously focused on catching counterfeiters and was at the time the government’s only intelligence organization. Whitley and his agents led the covert war against the nascent KKK and were the first to use undercover work in mass crime—what we now call terrorism—investigations.

Like many spymasters before and since, Whitley also had a dark side. His penchant for skulduggery and dirty tricks ultimately led to his involvement in a conspiracy that would bring an end to his career and transform the Secret Service.

Populated by intriguing historical characters—from President Grant to brave Southerners, both black and white, who stood up to the Klan—and told in a brisk narrative style, Freedom’s Detective reveals the story of this complex hero and his central role in a long-lost chapter of American history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781335044969
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Publication date: 03/17/2020
Edition description: Original
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

Charles Lane is a Washington Post editorial board member and op-ed columnist. A finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing, he was the Post's Supreme Court correspondent prior to joining the editorial board. As editor of The New Republic, he took action against the journalistic fraud of Stephen Glass, events recounted in the 2003 film Shattered Glass. He has also worked as a foreign correspondent in Europe and Latin America. He is the author of two previous books.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Patrick County, Virginia, 1869 13

1 "Something terrible floats on the breeze." 20

2 "You will all be blown to bell in short order." 37

3 "He has worked his way through the labyrinth of lies." 63

4 "A powerful instrument for good or evil." 96

5 "The government secret agents were everywhere upon their track." 144

6 "I am radically opposed to any organized system of espionage." 208

7 "Suspicions come from Heaven." 248

Acknowledgments 275

Selected Bibliography 279

Notes 293

Index 337