American Scoundrel: Love, War and Politics in 19th Century America
By: Thomas Keneally (author)Hardback
1 - 2 weeks availability
The husband: charming cad and powerful Congressman, with hopes of becoming the next President; The wife: beautiful society hostess, 20 years old, of Italian descent; The lover: the most handsome widower in Washington. This is the starting point of American Scoundrel, a true story every bit as colourful as a novel. The shooting and trial are described with all Thomas Keneally's powers of dash and drama, against a backdrop of double-dealing, intrigue and 'the slavery question'. Having - through his political connections - got away literally with murder, Sickles rehabilitated himself by founding the Excelsior Brigade and fighting in the Civil War. He became a General, and at Gettysburg ( 9,000 men from his corps were killed when he led them out of position) lost a leg, which he put into the Military Museum in Washington where he would take friends to visit it. His young wife, meanwhile, was ostracised - a victim of a 19th-century morality cruelly condemning of women, while turning a blind eye to men's sexual adventures with mistresses and prostitutes.
Thomas Keneally won the Booker Prize with Schindler's List, since made by Spielburg into the film Schindler's Ark. Chatto/Vintage are proud to publish his non-fiction, including The Great Shame, described by the OBSERVER as 'a lucid, elegant and ambitious book with an epic narrative sweep', and by the IRISH TIMES as 'a narrative that is by turns urgent, compelling, funny, clear-sighted, tragic, hugely informative, lyrical and passionate - a major achievement', while the SUNDAY TIMES praised 'Keneally's scholarly passion for honest detail'.
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- ID: 9780701169749
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