U.S. Marshal Service Historian David S. Turk joins History Personified to discuss his new book, Forging the Star: The Official Modern History of the United States Marshal Service.
What do diverse events such as the integration of the University of Mississippi, the federal trials of Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, the confrontation at Ruby Ridge, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina have in common? The U.S. Marshals were instrumental in all of them. Whether pursuing dangerous felons in each of the 94 judicial districts or extraditing them from other countries; protecting federal judges, prosecutors, and witnesses from threats; transporting and maintaining prisoners and detainees; or administering the sale of assets obtained from criminal activity, the U.S. Marshals Service has adapted and overcome a mountain of barriers since their founding (on September 24, 1789) as the oldest federal law enforcement organization.
In Forging the Star, historian David S. Turk lifts the fog around the agency’s complex modern period. From the inside, he allows a look within the storied organization. The research and writing of this singular account took over a decade, drawn from fresh primary source material with interviews from active or retired management, deputy U.S. marshals who witnessed major events, and the administrative personnel who supported them. Forging the Star is a comprehensive official history that will answer many questions about this legendary agency.
“Turk advances our understanding of the U.S. Marshals Service into the modern era, heretofore a time generally overlooked, and he does it admirably.” —Bob Alexander, former special agent with the U.S. Treasury Department and author of Rawhide Ranger, Ira Aten and Six-Shooters and Shifting Sands