54-40 or Fight has lost its power to excite

You can not tell how large a trouble may be started by a small politician. Emerson Hough’s 54-40 or Fight takes a great story and renders it dull as dishwater. The story is told by Nicholas Trist, confidential aide to John C. Calhoun. It opens as Calhoun becomes Secretary of State in President Tyler’s cabinet. […]

The Harbor is an excursion into lived history

The Harbor is a fictional history of the major upheavals in American life between 1865 and 1915 as experienced by a family who lived and worked on New York City’s waterfront. [The New York Public Library’s digital book New York City Harbor puts the novel in its historical and visual setting.] The Harbor by Ernest […]

Immortal Wife is a lifeless figure

Jessie, the favorite daughter of Missouri senator Thomas Hart Benton, grows up working with her father, breathing politics, and believing it is America’s manifest destiny to rule from Atlantic to Pacific. Immortal Wife: The Biographical Novel of Jessie Benton Fremont by Irving Stone Doubleday, 1944. 450 pages. 1945 bestseller # 10. My Grade: B-. At […]