Ain't Goin' to Glory

David Delman, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (225p) ISBN 978-0-312-06272-9
As the Civil War raged in July 1863, the first military draft in U.S. history incited an armed mob in New York City to rape, murder, loot and burn; rioters also carried out lynchings, venting their anger on newly emancipated blacks. This week of senseless violence provides the factual basis for Delman's carefully researched, entertaining novel, written in chiseled prose that seems at odds with its raucous subject matter. The conflict between chief police inspector John Brautigan and his ambitious son Michael, who betrays Dad by working for Tammany Hall, forms one main strand of the plot. Another involves the unexpected return of surgeon Peter Mackenzie, who lost one foot at Shiloh, and his friend Stephen Jardine, a muckracking reporter for Horace Greeley's New York Tribune now married to Mackenzie's ex-fiancee, Margaret, a women's rights advocate. While Delman ( The Last Gambit ) captures the glorious confusion and rowdiness of Old New York, the narrative, for all its action and multiple tragedies, conjures a static portrait, like a daguerrotype. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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