Wednesday, December 4, 2013
This is what I would call a narrative history - the events and the names of people are real - but the words and many actions come from the imagination and supposition of the author. I saw the 'Battle of King's Mountain' reenacted on the television series "The Revolution" - so I could easily picture in my own mind the action taking place. This is the back story. What these men - all volunteers - endured on the march over the mountains to and from the battle site is incredible. The great anger on both sides led to a virtual massacre of the British troops who were not about to give up to men they considered so inferior to their trained and uniformed army. It's well known that the Americans had the advantage in the site and the fact that they fought like Indians against the robotic formations of the British gave them a huge advantage. Well worth the read.
This book is also about an actual event but the author imagines virtually all the events surrounding the 1920's trial of a woman of the Tennessee mountains who was charged with the murder of her father. The plot deals mainly with the big city reporters - and one lad representing a local paper - who covered the trial. The ways in which they manipulate the facts to fit a preconceived idea of what the public wants and what will induce that public to follow events avidly are really the main story. Reading, one can't help reflecting that nothing has changed since the Spanish American War - often called 'Hearst's War' because the war mongering newspaper editor whipped people into a nationalistic frenzy - to the present day. Readers are ruthlessly manipulated - and to hell with the truth.We still deal with it.