Lincoln's Spymaster: Allan Pinkerton, America's First Private Eye

Lincoln's Spymaster: Allan Pinkerton, America's First Private Eye

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"From Samantha Seiple, the award winning author of Ghosts in the Fog, comes the first book for young adults to tell the story of Allan Pinkerton, America's first private eye.

Lincoln's Spymaster tells the dangerous and action-packed adventures of Allan Pinkerton, America's first private eye and Lincoln's most trusted spymaster.

Pinkerton was just a poor immigrant barrel-maker in Illinois when he stumbled across his first case just miles from his home. His reputation grew and people began approaching Pinkerton with their cases, leading him to open the first-of-its-kind private detective agency. Pinkerton assembled a team of undercover agents, and together they caught train robbers, counterfeiters, and other outlaws. Soon these outlaws, including Jesse James, became their nemeses. Danger didn't stop the agency! The team even uncovered and stopped an assassination plot against president-elect Abraham Lincoln! Seeing firsthand the value of Pinkerton's service, Lincoln funded Pinkerton's spy network, a precursor to the Secret Service. Allan Pinkerton is known as the father of modern day espionage, and this is the first book for young adults to tell his story!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher


"An enlightening account full of compelling stories of survival and perseverance." - KIRKUS REVIEWS

A YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Nominee

School Library Journal

Gr 5–8—This serviceable biography sheds light on Allan Pinkerton, America's most famous detective. Readers learn how Pinkerton, a wanted man, fled a life of poverty as a labor dissenter in Scotland for America, where he became a cooper in Illinois. He used his keen observation skills to uncover several counterfeiters and was promptly deputized. This small start in law enforcement grew into employment with the fledgling (and very corrupt) Chicago Police Department. Unable to stomach the corruption, the principled man left after a few years to open Pinkerton's National Detective Agency. The agency's motto: "We never sleep." The agency pioneered many techniques commonly used today, such as working undercover and shadowing suspects. Pinkerton also employed male and female detectives, a practice that was highly unusual at the time. He and his detectives served their country during the Civil War as spies for the Union, occasionally corresponding with Abraham Lincoln himself. After a personal disagreement regarding Union leadership, Pinkerton returned to private detective work. The detailed descriptions of his pursuit of famous outlaws, including Jesse James and Frank Younger, are quite interesting. The overall writing is effective, though not riveting. The photographs and documents are clear, and the bibliography is highly detailed. VERDICT A welcome but not essential addition.—Lisa Crandall, formerly at the Capital Area District Library, Holt, MI

Kirkus Reviews

A Scottish immigrant who came to America on the run from the law established the agency that stopped an early plot against Abraham Lincoln and became the best known detective of his era.Allan Pinkerton honed his detective skills working for the Chicago police force until political corruption led him to leave and begin his own agency. He soon developed a reputation for honesty and relentless determination and notably thwarted a plot to sabotage the railroad lines while Lincoln was en route to his inauguration. Pinkerton's connections to Lincoln and Gen. George B. McClellan and his proven skills opened a role for him: heading up the Union Intelligence Service. Pinkerton and his cohorts, including the first female agent, provided much information for the Union effort. Following the war, Pinkerton became famous for pursuit of criminals such as Jesse James and controversial efforts against strikers. As the agency grew and changed, it became synonymous with security well into the 21st century. The detailed stories of thwarted plots, gambits behind enemy lines, and efforts to bring outlaws to justice will appeal to readers. The prose is serviceable for the subject; the design is dominated by static portraits of the mentioned historic figures for an overall stuffy effect, although a list of important players in the beginning of the text is helpful. The absorbing subject matter will carry readers past design hiccups. (source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781522651901
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication date: 03/14/2017
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

Customer Reviews