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American Scoundrel: The Life of the Notorious Civil War General Dan Sicklesby Thomas Keneally
Synopses & Reviews
Hero, adulterer, bon vivant, murderer and rogue, Dan Sickles led the kind of existence that was indeed stranger than fiction. Throughout his life he exhibited the kind of exuberant charm and lack of scruple that wins friends, seduces women, and gets people killed. In American Scoundrel Thomas Keneally, the acclaimed author of Schindler's List, creates a biography that is as lively and engrossing as its subject.
Dan Sickles was a member of Congress, led a controversial charge at Gettysburg, and had an affair with the deposed Queen of Spain — among many other women. But the most startling of his many exploits was his murder of Philip Barton Key (son of Francis Scott Key), the lover of his long-suffering and neglected wife, Teresa. The affair, the crime, and the trial contained all the ingredients of melodrama needed to ensure that it was the scandal of the age. At the trial's end, Sickles was acquitted and hardly chastened. His life, in which outrage and accomplishment had equal force, is a compelling American tale, told with the skill of a master narrative.
"Keneally's sure grasp of the political, social and historical details defines an era, and the panache of his prose...remains as seductive as ever." Publishers Weekly
"The captivating tale of a charming opportunist whose ambition and moral hypocrisy mirror those of mid-19th-century America." Kirkus Reviews
"Keneally brings Sickles back to life in every colorful and scandalous detail." Chicago Sun-Times
"For anybody who savors ripely old-fashioned storytelling with a side of modern hindsight." San Francisco Chronicle
"Lively and evocative....Keneally's prose, as usual, is vivid and his research is thorough; he displays an impressive command of the minutiae of 19th-century American politics." The Washington Post
About the Author
Thomas Keneally has won international acclaim for his novels Schindler's List (the basis for the movie and winner of the Booker Prize), The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Confederates, Gossip from the Forest, The Playmaker, Woman of the Inner Sea, and A River Town and for his work of nonfiction The Great Shame. He lives in Sydney, Australia.
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