Skip to main content

Review: Spying on the South: Travels with Frederick Law Olmsted in a Fractured Land

Spying on the South: Travels with Frederick Law Olmsted in a Fractured Land Spying on the South: Travels with Frederick Law Olmsted in a Fractured Land by Tony Horwitz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To say that two of the most politically divisive eras in the US occurred prior to the Presidential elections of 1860 and 2016. In each of these timeframes, the country was more or less divided (North versus South and Red versus Blue, respectively) and thought the other half was wrong.

It is this notion that drives the compelling narrative in this book. Horwitz follows the path Fred Olmstead took in the 1850s, and describes his encounters with others below the Mason Dixon line and across the political fence. His experiences are interwove with what Olmstead shared in his writings, and often shows how history truly does repeat itself.

I enjoyed the parts dealing with Hortwitz better than Olmstead, but this is to be expected since Hortwitz could provide more details than can be gleaned from centuries old writings. He meets a very colorful cast of characters and helps to understand the differences and common threads among all Americans.

A splash of historical textbook, part historical narrative nonfiction, and largely a memoir of one man's present day journey into the South, this provides an enjoyable read. It has a slow start, but I found myself more into it after getting past the first third of the book.

I recommend this book to fans of the Civil War era or people who just want an enjoyable nonfiction memoir about a man's observations of a different life.

Thank you to the publishers of this book for furnishing me with a copy to read and review. All opinions are my own.

View all my reviews

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Shadow Ridge

  Shadow Ridge by M.E. Browning December 1-31, 2020 Tour Synopsis: Death is one click away when a string of murders rocks a small Colorado town in the first mesmerizing novel in M. E. Browning’s A Jo Wyatt Mystery series. Echo Valley, Colorado, is a place where the natural beauty of a stunning river valley meets a budding hipster urbanity. But when an internet stalker is revealed to be a cold-blooded killer in real life the peaceful community is rocked to its core. It should have been an open-and-shut case: the suicide of Tye Horton, the designer of a cutting-edge video game. But Detective Jo Wyatt is immediately suspicious of Quinn Kirkwood, who reported the death. When Quinn reveals an internet stalker is terrorizing her, Jo is skeptical. Doubts aside, she delves into the claim and uncovers a link that ties Quinn to a small group of beta-testers who had worked with Horton. When a second member of the group dies in a car accident, Jo’s investigation leads her to the

Review: Curious Minds

Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich My rating: 3 of 5 stars I read this book after reading the second book in the series. While I like the second book better than this book, the interactions between Knight and Moon are still awwsme. As the leads, they have a certain chemistry that is both flirty and exasperating for Moon. Nonetheless, they manage to work together effectively to try and solve the case. I do feel that the plot little weak but that is not the main reason I read these. The story does remind me of a great action film and I could see it as an even better film adaptation. Although I like the second book better, I do still recommend this book. View all my reviews

Review: Mercy Creek

Mercy Creek by M.E. Browning October 11 - November 5, 2021 Tour Synopsis: In an idyllic Colorado town, a young girl goes missing—and the trail leads into the heart and mind of a remorseless killer. The late summer heat in Echo Valley, Colorado turns lush greenery into a tinder dry landscape. When a young girl mysteriously disappears, long buried grudges rekindle. Of the two Flores girls, Marisa was the one people pegged for trouble. Her younger sister, Lena, was the quiet daughter, dutiful and diligent—right until the moment she vanished. Detective Jo Wyatt is convinced the eleven-year-old girl didn’t run away and that a more sinister reason lurks behind her disappearance. For Jo, the case is personal, reaching far back into her past. But as she mines Lena’s fractured family life, she unearths a cache of secrets and half-lies that paints a darker picture. As the evidence mounts, so do the suspects, and when a witness steps forward with a shocking new revelation, Jo