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Anslinger, long America's Narcotics Commissioner, knows a great deal about crime detection and the men who perform deeds of valor in the attempt to protect the world from criminals, organized or otherwise. The stories he is able to divulge are interesting, and emotionally satisfying because the lines are clearly drawn between the good guys and the guys even though the good guys don't always win conclusive or enduring victories. Sometimes in the rush of his narrative the writing becomes a little awkward and difficult to follow, and sometimes the transitions from case to case are mystifyingly abrupt, but nothing halts the pace of the action. This is a diversified chronicle of episodes from the history of the various law-enforcement agencies under the Treasury Department: the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division, Narcotics Control, Secret Service and others. Famous agents receive their share of praise, and of course the names of well-known gangsters turn up frequently. The tragic stories of Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker and Chet Baker are told with suitable sympathy. A few sidelights not involved with crime include the history of Camp David. After a number of matter-of-fact references to Anslinger's knowledge of the Mafia before the days when it was popular to acknowledge that organization's existence in America, he cites contributions being made by Attorney General Kennedy to the effort to oust organized crime from the land.

Pub Date: April 20th, 1964
Publisher: arrar, Straus & Co.