Sickles, a Tammany prodigy, entered national politics in 1857 as a Representative. Held in wide disrepute for his amours and shady practices, Sickles nonetheless mounted rapidly, socially, influentially. When his beautiful young wife formed an intimacy with a district attorney, Sickles shot and killed the man. Soon after his acquittal of the murder charges, Sickles resumed his marriage went on to scrape together, provision and drill his own brigade which was conscripted into the Union Army. Knowing nothing of warfare, Sickles emerged a two-star general, fought heroically and lost a leg at Gettysburg. Appointed Minister to Spain, he made a deposed queen his mistress and, now a widower, married again and fathered two children. He returned to New York long enough to overthrow the railroad empire of Jay . These are only bits of his amazing life, and, although this biography does not always rise to the man, it does face him squarely. Followers of Americans and these interested in off-beat personal histories will find provocative material here.