Saturday, November 16, 2013

Pinkerton's Great Detective - The Amazing Life and Times of James McParland by Beau Riffenburgh

Yesterday I received my copy of the just released and much anticipated book, Pinkerton's Great Detective  - The Amazing Life and Times of James McParland. As we would expect in any McParland biography, the book dedicates a sizable section to Frank's assassination, Harry Orchard and the investigation and trial of Bill Haywood.

I was happy to see in the acknowledgments the inclusion of 'the Robert E. Smylie Archives of the College of Idaho for the GL Crookham Jr. Papers' and 'the Idaho State Archives, for the Pinkerton Papers of the James H. Hawley Papers.' So in return, I will give Mr. Riffenburgh a little free Idaho publicity. No doubt he and his publisher will make quite a bit more money in addition to the $20+ I already forked over. Let's hope the book is worth it.
Included in the book are some photographs of which we have become quite familiar over the years. In addition of course, topics such as the Molly Maguires, Butch Cassidy, the Wild Bunch and other outlaws and organizations pursued by and/or infiltrated by McParland look to be given ample attention.  

I am still usually a hard copy guy when it comes to books and that is the case here. Sure, you can do the electronic notes, posts-its and highlighting too, but it can't match the tactile experience of the real thing that connects you with the text and the story. If you ever see my tattered and taped research copy of Big Trouble then you would know what I mean.

So I am tossing the other books on my read list aside for the moment and diving into Pinkerton's Great Detective. Good or bad, no doubt it will have a place in my permanent book collection. I have put a cover on the jacket for protection but lets see how much I mess it up on the inside. That can go either way, and be a good sign or a bad one. I will let you know.

BTW, if you haven't visited last weeks post since it first went up, you might want to do so again as I have been adding more family names (and a dog!) to the Veteran's Day 2013 Honor Wall. It all continues to be a work in progress and additional information and photo's are welcomed.

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