Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Partisan Leader

by Beverley Tucker

This one's an interesting, but ultimately dissatisfying read. It's the tale of the Southern Secession--first published in 1836. In it, the Southern States secede from the United States of America, not in protest of the election of Abraham Lincoln, but rather over that of Martin Van Buren to a (snicker) third term. That wily rascal has been amassing power to the federal government and many states of the south, led by South Carolina, have left the Union and formed their own confederation. There's no overt war, as the Confederate States have managed to score a diplomatic coup by gaining diplomatic recognition by Great Britain. (Hmmm, I wonder if that's where Harry Turtledove got the idea?) There is a conflict brewing, however, in the State of Virginia, which has been slow to leave the Union. Virginia's loyal sons are preparing for war, recognizing that their loyalty to the Union has been misplaced and that their fortunes lie along the road to independence. Like I said, it's an interesting book--a peek into the ideals of a distant place and time. It's fun to compare the book to the actual Secession, to see what details Mr. Tucker accurately predicted and what things he got wrong. But in the end, it's just a curiosity. The writing itself is pretty much just jingoistic melodrama with noble heroes and either stupid or dastardly villains--all in stunning 2-D. No wonder I had to get it through Inter Library Loan.

Waiting room material,it's only waiting room material.
LibraryThing link


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