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

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. WhitleIn 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 Southe...

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Title:Freedom's Detective: The Secret Service, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Man Who Masterminded America's First War on Terror
Author:Charles Lane
Rating:
Edition Language:English

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

  • Witchy

    Ramblings:

    grants us passage on a sobering journey through American history as we witness the advent of the Ku Klux Klan, George W. Ashburn’s murder, and the daring struggle of a detective willing to uncover and expose those responsible. Lane’s easy narrative places this nonfiction on top of the must-have list for history majors, espionage lovers, and anyone w

    Ramblings:

    grants us passage on a sobering journey through American history as we witness the advent of the Ku Klux Klan, George W. Ashburn’s murder, and the daring struggle of a detective willing to uncover and expose those responsible. Lane’s easy narrative places this nonfiction on top of the must-have list for history majors, espionage lovers, and anyone who ponders whether man is truly all good or all bad-all the time.

    Reviewer Summary:

    As head of the Secret Service under Grant’s administration, Hiram Coombs Whitley suppressed the operations of illegal distillers, exposed KKK klansmen, and reduced counterfeiting-all during a tense political and racial climate.

    However, Whitley could flip on a dime. He could ambush an abolitionist with escaped slaves, but later-assemble a case for prosecutors in Ashburn’s death. He blurred the line between right and wrong. Ultimately, a shady mission and bad judgment would abruptly end his federal career.

    Additional Info:

    This nonfiction contains a biography and notes in the back section of the book. It does not contain footnotes throughout.

    Review:

    Lane’s newest release titled

    is a well-researched, captivating read of the ins and outs of the Secret Service and the man at its helm during Reconstruction. The author’s narrative writing style made for an easy-to-follow read, and the photos of key characters were a nice touch.

    You’ll like this novel if you:

    #1 Generally read nonfiction

    #2 Enjoy American history (with emphasis on the Reconstruction era)

    #3 Are fond of espionage

    #4 Like biographies

    #5 Wish to learn the origins of the Secret Service and/or the KKK

    Disclosure:

    I received a complimentary ARC of

    from Harlequin Books via goodreads. I’m thankful to the publisher, author, and goodreads for the opportunity to review this soon-to-be

    . My review is an honest reflection of my thoughts and ramblings.

  • Morris J.

    This is a must read for anyone trying to understand race relations in our nation today. Mr. Lane provides a riveting account of an early law man (ironically, often on the wrong side of the law), who was one of the few who could break the Klan’s code of silence. His and other efforts were not enough to turn the political tide, but this story helped me understand the dynamics of reconstruction in a way I never had before. Brilliant read!

  • Dawn Michelle

    takes us on a sobering journey through American history to witness the advent of the world of counterfeiting, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, George W. Ashburn’s murder [and the politicians that helped both try and cover it up and then bribed and bought off people to help the murderer’s go free], and the daring struggle of a detective [and the forming of the secret service] willin

    takes us on a sobering journey through American history to witness the advent of the world of counterfeiting, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, George W. Ashburn’s murder [and the politicians that helped both try and cover it up and then bribed and bought off people to help the murderer’s go free], and the daring struggle of a detective [and the forming of the secret service] willing to uncover and expose those responsible, at whatever cost.

    This is a well-researched, captivating read of the ins and outs of the Secret Service and of Hiram C. Whitley at its helm during Reconstruction. The author’s writing style made for an easy read, easy to understand and follow and the illustrations and pictures that are included are a nice bonus – I find it easier to “see” the person being talked about when I can see how they actually looked.

    Whitley is a cunning man in his own right – ready to fight for the US and against the evils of the Ku Klux Klan, but was also willing to fight against the very thing he was trying to vanquish when it met his own personal needs [before the war, he went and rounded up wayward slaves to return them to their owners]. He never, ever took the blame for anything that happened negatively – either denying it vehemently, or tried to push it off on other people – sometimes both. Sometimes with success, and others, not so much. He was, in my opinion, the perfect man to be a spy and to lead espionage against the evils of the Klan, against counterfeiting and against evil in general. He had a spy’s mind and a willingness to bend the rules to get what needed to be done, done. They say if you want to catch crooks and bad men, you have to be a little bit of a crook [or in this case a spy and con-man] yourself.

    Be prepared though – many people I had previously held in high esteem [President Grant for one – his willingness to release and pardon men convicted of murder in hopes the South would be willing to accept Reconstruction more willingly, shows just how weak and ultimately, stupid he was in regards to just how powerful the Klan and white supremacy was], slipped several notches in the reading of this book. I realize that most of Washington is tainted, but there are moments in this book that caused real frustration and potential headbangingagainstwall moments. There were actual moments where I wondered just who really wanted the war to end and who really won when the Civil War did end. And even though blacks were considered free, there were many that still considered them to be “non-human” and many of them were based in Washington and had fought for the North. It was, at times, disconcerting and disheartening to say the least. And the lengths that the politicians, on BOTH sides, were willing to go through to get “what they wanted at any cost” was appalling and frustrating to read.

    If you know little about this time period, this book is an excellent introduction to the evils that came out of the ending of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction. It shows how powerful the South still was [though bankrupt and poverty stricken otherwise] and how strong the racial divide was [and still is today] in the Southern states. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in this time period and in spies and espionage and the beginnings of the Secret Service and the fight against the Klan.

    Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin/Hanover Square Press for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Krisette Spangler

    The rise of counterfeiters and the Ku Klux Klan posed a different kind of challenge than the United States had ever faced. It necessitated the rise of a national police force that would be able to cross state lines and report directly to the National government. Hiram C. Whitley was the first man to run a secret service for the U.S. government. This book covers his experiences as head of the Secret Service during the Reconstruction Era.

    It was sad to me to learn that not much has changed over the

    The rise of counterfeiters and the Ku Klux Klan posed a different kind of challenge than the United States had ever faced. It necessitated the rise of a national police force that would be able to cross state lines and report directly to the National government. Hiram C. Whitley was the first man to run a secret service for the U.S. government. This book covers his experiences as head of the Secret Service during the Reconstruction Era.

    It was sad to me to learn that not much has changed over the years. Careers were ultimately ruined by involvement in corrupt government scandals just as they are today.

  • Craig Pearson

    This is a history book that is pretending to read like a novel. The subject of the book is Hiram C. Whitley, a man of few morals who takes on the Ku Klux Klan. The elements of general history are interesting but it is hard to get interested in anything related to Whitley. He does not rise to the level of a hero of the Secret Service and the writing is too dry keep the readers attention.

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