FBI File: Dashiell Hammett

PDF: Dashiell Hammett’s FBI file (partial)

Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) was the pioneer of hardboiled detective fiction, writing the classics The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man, among others. He served in the Army in both world wars, and his time busting strikes (and heads) in the Pinkerton detective agency launched him into a lifetime of communist activism. After refusing to rat out others, he did time in federal prison. When he got out, he was destitute, as his FBI file painfully shows.

I received this preprocessed portion of Hammett’s file via a FOIA request. It’s not Hammett’s entire file: The cover letter notes that some parts have been sent to the National Archives, while other portions were referred to an unnamed government agency.


 

 

 

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