RELUCTANT GENERAL: The Life & Times of Albert Pike by Robert L. Duncan
Kirkus Star

RELUCTANT GENERAL: The Life & Times of Albert Pike

Email this review


Civil War buffs---American history students---attention! Hats off and a twelve gun salute to this fine little history of one of the South's most controversial, colorful Generals, Albert Pike. Was he saint or devil? Was he hero or coward? Was he a traitor to the South? The author, a skillful researcher and convincing writer, weighs the balance in favor of the massive, highly-intelligent and sensitive man. He recreates his New England youth, his wild west days of the 1830's, his practice of law and scathing journalism in Little Rock, Arkansas. He then traces Pike's military career in the Mexican War and his concern for the Southwest Indian. Pike's use of Indians in the famous Pea Ridge battle and his supposed mismanagement of Indian Affairs for the Confederacy are examined closely, and Pike comes out the winner. His role in Masonry, and authorship of Morals and Dogma make a fitting ending to a chaotic, frustrated life. An excellent, and so readable book!

Publisher: Dutton