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The Dark Intrigue: The True Story of a Civil War Conspiracy Hardcover – November 2, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing; First Edition edition (November 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555916104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555916107
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,795,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Frank van der Linden became a Civil War historian after nearly half a century as a Washington newspaper correspondent, covering Congress and the White House. He first interviewed President Harry Truman at a poker party for congressional Democrats in 1945 and closed his White House career with President George H. W. Bush.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gerald R. Hibbs on July 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book by Linden combined with Weber's book, Copperheads:The Rise and Fall of Lincoln's Opponents" will give the reader a definiitive outlook on the war the took place behind Lincoln's back.There were two wars going on 1861-1865 - the military war and the political war. They are bound together in a conspiracy which nearly won the war for the Confederacy. To get a comprehensive view of the Civil War, marching through the streets as well as tramping through the feilds, both books must be read carefully. There was something else going on besides Gettysburg and Vicksburg and to undertand what that something was and to appreciate what it meant, the reader must glide through the pages of both of these books. Both are easy to read making the investment of time and attention worhtwhile.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Funk on December 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Those who enjoy politics, this is a must read. The times of then and now are not so different as one reads into this very detail review of the politics of the 1800's. I read this book from cover to cover in a day and will review it again. Excellent writing and details of history of our country.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had earlier found out about the Great Northwest Conspiracy (a plot for the "Northwest" - Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan - to secede from the Union during the Civil War) by reading a book from the latter 19th-century entitled The Great Northwest Conspiracy. But Frank van der Linden does a superb job in fleshing out the details as well as introducing new evidence on the subject.

An earlier reviewer here claims this Northwest Conspiracy event has been supposedly long-since "disproved." Yet he cites no sources for the claim. On the contrary, after reading van der Linden's book I am more convinced than ever that yes, there indeed was a Northwest conspiracy, on top of all the other troubles faced by President Abraham Lincoln.

My one criticism of van der Linden's book is he unduly stresses, at the close, that supposedly "no party can survive an opposition to a war" - William Seward's "sage advice." This was true of the Democrat "peace" party in 1864, which did not get a man in the White House until Grover Cleveland, but van der Linden implies Seward's axiom is to be written in stone and to apply for all time.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Read this in preparation for writing a research paper on the "Northwest Conspiracy" of the Civil War, and found it very useful in that regard. Many modern historians, such as Dr. Frank L. Klement, dismiss or minimize the 1864 cabal between Northern Peace Democrats - Copperheads - and Confederate agents based in Canada. Mr. van der Linden takes the opposite view, and uses the letters of Confederate "commissioner" C. C. Clay to help prove his point. His research was exhaustive, and the book is very well written; the text is complemented by an extensive bibliography. Unfortunately, Mr. van der Linden chose not to include an index with the work, which limits its usefulness somewhat.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Terry Corbet on May 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The inside cover of this book reads: "The Dark Intrigue tells, for the first time, the incredible story of ..." I don't hold Mr. van der Linden responsible for that untruth, I hold his publisher responsible. [For my disappointment with the book, I should hold only myself responsible. Had I gone to [...] and spent some time looking at their inventory of books published under the heading of American History, I would have been forewarned.]

If the editor of this book was not aware of Frank L. Klement's distinguished career, and voluminous writing on the story line of Dark Intrigue, it's sad; probably not larcenous, but sad. For the author, I am not sure what to think.

Without an index the only way I can follow his use of the materials he cites in his bibliography is to read each note, item-by-item. At my age, maybe I just missed it, but I don't believe you will see a single reference to any of these books he consulted:

Klement, Frank L. "The Copperheads in the Middle West". Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1960.
or
__________., Dark Lanterns: Secret Political Societies, Conspiracies, and Treason Trials in the Civil War". Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1984.
or
__________. "The Limits of Dissent: Clement Vallandighman and the Civil War". Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1970.

The "incredible story" of "The Northwest Conspiracy" had been told before and the complexities of dealing with the evidence "garnered by spies" and "revealed by press leaks" had been peer-reviewed quite professionally. The author and publisher owe the reader specific references to the controversial nature of the topic right up front in the preface. That would be much more honest than the headline-style claims they make.
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The Dark Intrigue: The True Story of a Civil War Conspiracy
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