Tuesday, December 4, 2007
2007 Book Fair-O-Rama - Part III - A Wild Ride
The next review in my 2007 Book Fair-O-Rama is for Russell Bonds's excellent Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor (Westholme, 2006). Like Unknown Soldiers, this book was also recommended to me. I'm quite happy that I read it and heartily share the recommendation.
I'm not one given to hyperbole, but Stealing the General is truly one of the best books I've read...of any kind...ever. It is an excellent combination of storytelling and scholarship.
It would be enough if Russell Bonds provided a modern treatment of the "Great Locomotive Chase" - which he does well - but he does so much more. He gives us three-dimensional views of the principals, discounts myths, explains the mission in the context of the progress of the war in the region, recounts trials, executions, and escapes, describes the evolution of the Medal of Honor, and gives hints at fascinating side stories...all informed by outstanding research.
I would also encourage you to visit the book's companion website, which includes additional information on the Raid, the MOH, and links to other relevant websites.