4 out of 4 stars
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Inspired by real events that occurred toward the end of the American Civil War, Lincoln's Hat and the TEA Movement's Anger by David Selcer is a fictional story about a journalist, Harlan Pomeroy, who hates Lincoln with all his heart.
Following the first failed assassination attempt, after he gets hold of Lincoln’s shot-through hat, Pomeroy discovers some secret documents in the hat’s lining. Realizing what they are, he knows they can help him destroy Lincoln once and for all. After publishing them, surely the country will recognize that Lincoln is a danger to the traditional American values. Thus, Pomeroy sets off to undermine Lincoln’s presidency by implying that he is a socialist in league with the likes of Karl Marx.
Lincoln's Hat and the TEA Movement's Anger is a cleverly written historical novel, and the author’s love for that time period is evident. The book is first and foremost Harlan Pomeroy’s tale, but it is also the chronicle of a nation’s political climate during a crucial time in American history that should never be forgotten. The story is fraught with strong partisan emotions reflecting the values of those times. It is tough to read about such open racism when I’ve never had to encounter discrimination, especially based on skin color. How could anyone believe a black person was less intelligent than a white person and servitude was all black people could achieve in life? It still boggles my mind.
As a European, I was not aware of the details about Lincoln’s life and assassination. However, the author has expertly woven a story so compelling, believable, and educational that, after reading the book, I began searching online to learn more about the Civil War period.
Pomeroy is the central character, and the book is about his life during those years. While the depicted deeds by him and his TEA Movement were racist and vile, the author led me to a place of compassion when I realized Pomeroy was merely the product of his time and culture. In his pursuit of Lincoln, he was like a dog with a bone. On the other hand, no matter what was happening in Pomeroy’s complicated life, he always returned to Sally, the black woman he truly loved. I found it almost humorous that he denied being racist because he didn’t hate black people. He hated that white people could lose their businesses and their comfortable way of life because the freed slaves would no longer work without pay. Pomeroy couldn’t accept that change was inevitable, and he fought it every step of the way. In the novel, the author raises questions about our tendency to cast ourselves as the heroes of our stories even when we are entirely wrong. That’s what Pomeroy thought he was as well: a hero slaying the monsters of change.
Overall, the book is well written, and it is easy to read. The author uses words that everyone can understand without needing to be an expert in the language of those historical times. I only found a few grammatical errors, so the book was properly edited. Thus, I will gladly give Lincoln's Hat and the TEA Movement's Anger 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to lovers of American history. If you enjoy reading character-driven historical fiction focusing on the Civil War, this book will be right up your alley.
Lincoln's Hat and the TEA Movement's Anger
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