A well-researched but overly complex dissection of a forgotten yet pivotal episode in American history.



An economist’s debut historical novel focuses on the roots and impact of the Virginia Uprising of 1675-76.

At the beginning of this ambitious work, violent attacks by the Susquehannock spread fear throughout Virginia. A brutal military retaliation leads the tribe to plan a getaway west to “Kain-tuck-ee” while its warriors continue raiding farms. Burgess Thomas Swann advocates brokering peace, but unscrupulous Sir William Berkeley, governor of the Royal Colony of Virginia, concentrates on profitability: “If some get killed, that’s in our interest. It makes land available for men of quality.” When peace efforts fail and the conflict intensifies, settlers petition Sir William to authorize strikes against the Native Americans by troops under Commissioned Officer Nat Bacon. But this leads to an elaborate sequence of cat-and-mouse machinations between the troops and Sir William, who bristles at anyone trying to influence how he runs Virginia. When Bacon successfully ends the assaults, Sir William regains the upper hand by declaring all of the soldiers traitors, hunting them down for execution and seizure of their property. He is ousted and replaced when King Charles II intervenes from England in response to the petition of people like Swann who seek a fair level of representation returned to the populous without threat of retribution. Crabbe convincingly argues in her book that this “popular insurgency” in Virginia yielded significant socioeconomic changes with far-reaching effects on America’s future. Her judicious research is evident by the long bibliography of both primary and secondary sources. In addition, the author boasts an extensive vocabulary of arcane words appropriate to the era. In terms of cultural sensitivity, engrossing details are offered in the Native American passages, but they too often fall into the noble savage trope. The novel’s constantly changing locations, mix of Native American and Gregorian calendars, and more than 70 characters could deter casual readers from wading through the daunting labyrinth for what is at heart an intriguing retelling of an underrepresented event.

A well-researched but overly complex dissection of a forgotten yet pivotal episode in American history.

Pub Date: May 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9988114-0-6

Page Count: 292

Publisher: The Global Finance Group

Review Posted Online: Aug. 10, 2017

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A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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