Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen: Battle of the Crater, A Novel

with 6 comments

As astute, and even not so astute, readers have no doubt noticed, this post is a book review. Book reviews may even become a regular feature on Doug’s Darkworld. Partly because it gets me free books, mostly because it gets me reading, since the Internet my attention span is less than a typical gerbil’s. And I suppose my readers might even appreciate a few book reviews, I’ve become leery of books and movies that weren’t recommended to me by someone. OK, so, Battle of the Crater. This is a great book. Everyone should read it. Go buy it now. See, book reviews are easy, this thing practically writes itself.

I read this book because the Battle of the Crater has always been a battle that fascinates me. I’ve even blogged on it before, though my post does contain spoilers if one is actually planning on reading the book. I knew when I started reading that I would at least be able to tolerate the book as I liked the subject manner. And to my unexpected pleasure, not only did I enjoy the book, about halfway through I couldn’t put it down.  I mean, I know how the battle ended, but I still wanted to see how the book ended. The book also contained a wealth of historical detail that I had been unfamiliar with as well. And as far as I can tell, I’m but an amateur Civil War historian at best, the book got the facts right as well as the tone of the times.

Without giving anything away, the book covers the battle itself, from the planning and preparation, to the aftermath. It also covers the politics surrounding the battle, a truly depressing aspect of the whole mess. The characters are believable, as most if not all of them were real people. The protagonist seems like the only exception, but the authors needed someone to tie the narrative together, so one made-up character in a historical novel is acceptable.

What else to say? The book is a fairly light and enjoyable read, not the sort of ponderous historical tome written by Barabara Tuchman for example. It’s fun to read, and not only will the reader enjoy themselves, they will learn a lot about the American Civil War. To summarize, if a reader likes historically based novels, or has an interest in the Civil War, I recommend this book.

And speaking of the American Civil War: The stupidest most disastrous war in American history. A war brought to us by one man and one man only, Abraham Lincoln. Yes, unlike so many Americans, especially Americans of the liberal persuasion, I see nothing good in the Civil War. That’s my next post.

As well as the usual outlets, Battle of the Crater is also available at the Macmillan Audio Book Mart.

(The above illustration is used with the tacit if not explicit permission of the publisher, so I think I’m pretty safe. Battle of the Crater is illustrated with period style illustrations by the way, always a nice touch. Enjoy.)


Written by unitedcats

November 28, 2011 at 9:03 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Wow, couldn’t believe what I was reading. To me, the civil war freed the slaves.
    And it also kept the racist southern Confederacy from separating from the United States.

    • I look forward to your feedback then, I’ll try and get it written in the near future.



      November 28, 2011 at 10:30 pm

  2. stupid is of your opinion, but most disastrous certainly. however to say that the civil war was the fault of one man is gross over statement. due in part that it takes more than one man to fight a war. and in the case, many contributing factors.

    on another note, the battle of the crater is a fascinating military blunder, and if i can find the book i’ll read it.


    November 28, 2011 at 11:27 pm

  3. Lincoln’s legacy is with us today.. a overpowerful central government, and the weakening of the states to but a ‘county’ status. States rights essentially died after Lincoln. You got a big country all right, but a LOT less freedoms.
    A lot of people do not know that he suspended the Bill of Rights for his war.
    Yes the war freed the slaves, a good thing, but the British Crown did away with slavery simply and bloodlessly by purchasing the freedoms of slaves in their colonies (and made it illegal). Simple and BLOODLESS.

    The Civil war was really fought to keep the agricultural products of the south going directly to the industrialized north instead of to the British Isles.

    The war needed to be bloody because it was not really about slavery per se.

    Sorry if I popped anyones bubble, if so you are a victim of the federal department of education.

    John Galt

    November 29, 2011 at 7:24 am

  4. Doug,

    Just bought the book on Amazon – all my local bookstores have shutdown because of this. I am really excited to read this I hope you make this a regular feature (book reviews) because my attention span is that of a gerbil as well.



    November 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm

  5. […] the American Civil War. Yesterday’s post was a book review about a battle in same, and I ended it by making some rather controversial remarks about the American Civil War. There are […]

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