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Pulling back the curtain on all the great debates and controversies of American History.

May 28, 2017

Episode 37 - Private Eye: Allan Pinkerton and the Pinkerton National Detective Agency


On Episode 37 of American History Too! we look at a man and an organisation who encapsulated much of what 19th century America was about: immigration, westward expansion, big business, labour relations, war, and politics. We examine Allan Pinkerton and the ‘eye that never sleeps’, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency.



Christopher Andrew, For the President’s Eyes Only: Secret Intelligence and the American Presidency, from Washington to Bush (New York: HarperCollins, 1995)

Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, The FBI: A History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007)

Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, We Know All About You: The Story of Surveillance in Britain and America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017)

Frank Morn, The Eye That Never Sleeps: A History of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982)

S. Paul O’Hara, Inventing the Pinkertons; or, Spies, Sleuths, Mercenaries, and Thugs (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016)

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