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View Diary: Bush Campaign Paying Firm That Specializes In Paramilitaries (110 comments)

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  •  Pinkerton was "The Vidocq of the West" (none)
    Interesting article on Eugene-Francios Vidocq in this weeks London Review of Books . He was an unsavory character who seems to have invented the private police force and did lots of dirty work during the June 1848 uprising.
    •  Don't slime Vidocq (none)
      He was an interesting, complicated man.  Not entirely black character.  Also a good friend of Balzac, Dumas, & others, the prototype of Vautrin, for one, and many other memorable characters of 19th c lit.

      I haven't read the LRB article but I have read Vidocq's memoirs.  He's been a fav of mine for years.  Though he did engage in some dubious ventures, he was heroic in plenty of other circumstances.  Not easy to categorize and...

      Not at all like Pinkerton, whom you can slime to your heart's content without a whimper from me.

      •  well, just read Graham Robb's article (none)
        and I see where you're coming from.  He talks about "a century of misplaced adulation" (count me in the crowd) I still think he's wrong, though.

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