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This is the biography of William J. Burns whom The New York Times crowned ""the greatest detective certainly, and perhaps the only really great detective, the only detective of genius whom the country has produced."" He was a tailor turned detective, turned secret service man, turned head of the F.B.I. . . . J. Edgar's predecessor. He was thoroughly brilliant and infinitely painstaking as illustrated in his first official case when he discovered that an important election had been rigged in the insanity ward of a prison hospital by corrupt officials, a fastidious forger and a second-story safe-cracker. Later he broke a counterfeit case that had the Treasury Depart, merit completely buffaloed and subsequently proved that the ingenious entrepreneurs continued their operations in jail. He was personally sent into San Francisco by Teddy Roosevelt to clean up the town which he did, finally, after using a devastating appeal to a crook's sense of theatrics to get him to reverse his plea in a dramatic courtroom moment. He was responsible for Clarence Darrow's one humiliation; he tangled with the KKK during the Leo Frank Case. But, until now, his career has been shadowed by the scandal he did not foresee during the Harding Administration. Here it has been recorded with a sense of newspaper sensationalism but armchair detectives should snap it up.

Pub Date: May 31st, 1968
Publisher: Prentice-Hall