|Submitted by Robie Cagle |
(Jul 03, 2005)
This is an excellent work showing what could have happened under an alternate War of Secession result. The book itself evolves around the USA's President Blaine declaring war on the Confederate States of America 20 years after the USA lost the 1st war. His reasons are his own as jealousy & fear of a new made purchase of Mexican lands has just been sealed by the South.
There are many subplots & famous people listed throughout the story-Custer, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Stonewall Jackson, James Longstreet (as the President of the Confederate States), Samuel Clemmens & Frederick Douglass to name a few.
There are struggles for Negro liberation, a Socialist movement led by Lincoln, an inciteful look into total war of the nature seen during the 1st World War, and of a plot by the "Mormons" in Utah Territory.
All of these plots & people are covered well, and are exciting to read-except for the Mormon plot. This plot and the writings thereof would easily have been a possibility, however the whole thing dissipates about half way through the book with no further effort exteded to describe the aftereffects of the Mormon people after Gen. Pope murders half of the Mormon heirarchy by hanging without a trial. Being Mormon myself, though I doubt events would ever have been as described, was inttrigued by mr. Turtledoves plot. I was very dissappointed though, to find it lacking with no follow through. As for the rest of the book, it was pleasant, but lost a lot of bite after this evident neglect. I found myself searching for a chapter, regardless of size, which could have bore witness to either the continued & illegal brutalities of Gen. Pope, or to an upprising against Gen. Pope and the military by the Mormons in Salt Lake City.
Overall, the book was good. I would only give it a grade of 3 out of five possible for the loss of such an integral subplot within the text itself.