In New York City, the excesses of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries led to a decline in public confidence in private detective agencies and municipal police departments. Social activist organizations were forced to reject professional detectives and instead relied on undercover investigators, a mode of investigative social activism that reached its apotheosis during the war years. Private organizations such as the Committee of Fourteen and the People's Institute, teamed up with government agencies on a variety of projects, from policing moral conditions around military encampments, to monitoring domestic political subversion, and assisting immigrants in their transition to their new country. After World War I, however, social activists largely lost their power to define the direction of subsequent policing and measures of social change. The federal government formalized and professionalized policies and procedures in other sectors such as the intelligence agencies. With the rise of a stronger Federal Bureau of Investigation, the prestige and power of social activists slipped dramatically.
Keywords: New York City, social activists, undercover investigators, private organizations, Committee of Fourteen, People's Institute, Federal Bureau of Investigation, intelligence agencies, policing, social change
Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.