Sam Stowe

13 posts

Book Review: The New York Times Complete Civil War 1861-1865

This collection of the Times‘ news coverage during the war is a must-have for Civil War enthusiasts and other American history buffs. It contains the power to astonish modern readers with its lofty rhetoric, constant editorializing in news stories and decisions on what was important to its audience. Those decisions are, in many cases, not what a modern newspaper would choose.

Book Review: The Big Policeman by J. North Conway

J. North Conway’s new account of the law enforcement career of Thomas Byrnes, The Big Policeman, shows us what it took to bring some degree of order and safety to New York City’s streets in the Gilded Age. And he’s scrupulously fair to Byrnes, whose bare-knuckled approach to his job would never be acceptable to most modern Americans. He was a man of his age and, somewhat ironically, a cop who would introduce many of the basic techniques that almost all current law enforcement agencies still use.

Book Review: The Fort by Bernard Cornwell

Bernard Cornwell, who has written a masterful novel about Agincourt, tackles the American Revolution and its realities in his new work, The Fort. You won’t find any shellacked heroes here. His patriots range from the committed few to the mercenary many and include a host of men who have been shanghaied (“Impressed” was the term of the day) into serving their country involuntarily.

Book Review: The Elephant’s Journey by Jose Saramago

Saramago’s ability to wring delightful dialogue out of his characters will charm just about anybody. The compassion and love for a flawed humanity he brings to his work is much too rare in a literary world and broader society that seem to devalue these qualities at a time when they are desperately needed.

Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America

Since our society began its retreat into Social Darwinism tricked out in the guise of laissez-faire economics, those of us who enjoy our economic history red in tooth and claw have the guilty pleasure of reading about business scandals.