In 'Freedom's Detective,' A Flawed But Remarkable Hiram Whitley Infiltrates The KKK

Journalist Charles Lane's account is endlessly gripping — and he does an excellent job of placing the operation in historical context, chronicling racism and resentment in the South post-Civil War.
Freedom's Detective: The Secret Service, the Ku Klux Klan and the Man Who Masterminded America's First War on Terror, by Charles Lane Source: Hanover Square Press

A mention of the Secret Service today might conjure up images of unsmiling men and women wearing sunglasses and dark suits, surrounding the president, perhaps discreetly touching their earpieces once in a while.

Or if you're a history buff, your thoughts might turn to 19th-century lawmen hot on the trail of counterfeiters. (Investigating financial crimes is still part of the agency's purview.)

But for a period of time toward the latter years of Reconstruction, the Secret Service took onbyeditorial writer and former editor of the Charles Lane.

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