Robert H. Fowler, Author . Forge $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-0659-3

Civil War buffs will try in vain to find this battle in their encyclopedias, but they will discover the novel to be a graphically honest and poignant account of both the terrible fighting and the era itself, from the Southern point of view. The author, a novelist and historian, has devised an imaginary battle site in an unnamed Confederate state. Thirty years after the war, his modest and likable hero, Democratic congressman Jackson Mundy, has been asked by Ohio king-making politician Marcus Hanna to run for vice-president alongside Republican William McKinley. Despite party affiliation, Mundy is regarded as a liberal man and could carry many Southern votes, but after much thought, he is forced to reject the offer. His reasons for this action form the body of the book and have to do with details of the infamous battle that he has kept secret for a generation. As a young man, the club-footed Mundy was aide-de-camp to the charismatic Evan Martin, a West Pointer with dreams of military greatness. Although a Philadelphia native, Martin enlists in the Confederate cause with a commission and is soon a general, hoping to achieve victory and fame. Mundy, fascinated, believes the general is brilliant, failing to realize that he is also ruthless and self-aggrandizing. The battle scenes are genuine, fully realized by an author who not only knows the nature of this internecine war but is able to raise his characters, humble and mighty, above cliché. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 01/06/2003
Release date: 02/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 304 pages - 978-0-7653-4581-3
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4668-3885-7
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