A Spy for the Union: The Life and Execution of Timothy Webster by Corey Recko

Publication Date: September 6, 2013

 

A Spy for the Union: The Life and Execution of Timothy Webster by Corey Recko A Spy for the Union by Corey Recko is the story of the New York Police Officer turned Pinkerton Detective turned spy for the Union forces, Timothy Webster. As a Pinkerton, he was a member of a team that uncovered a plot in 1861 to kill then President, Abraham Lincoln. As a Union spy he made valuable high-level Confederate connections before betrayal led to his execution.

 

 

There are books that demand readers have a specific interest in an era of history to enjoy them. They are dry and difficult to absorb and are bound by minutia. A Spy for the Union by Corey Recko appears at first to be that boring and hard to sop up read. Once the stage is set and the author turns to the meat of the life of Timothy Webster, the narrative comes alive. Webster is clearly someone that began as a passion for Recko and developed into a book that had to be written. A Spy for the Union was clearly written to educate, entertain and honor a man who bravely risked everything for the benefit of those he swore to serve.

Timothy Webster was a man who knew how to get what he wanted. Having honed his detective skills working with powerful men, he was a person who honored the concept of position of trust. He had a sense of what worked and how to get the information he needed. Recko is an author who assumes his readers are coming from a place of minimal knowledge and lays out the history of each step Webster takes. Readers familiar with the time period will find the information perhaps not the best presented history lesson I’ve seen. For those readers who want the adventure of this real life character, they will get the full experience. Recko lays out the time in detail and then the Pinkertons in detail and other historically relevant influencers to Webster’s career trajectory. Where the context is pedantic, it’s with purpose so instead of eliminating it could have perhaps been edited in an efficient way that would not interfere with its function.

The details of how Webster was caught fall into the category of truth being stranger than fiction making A Spy for the Union a must read for any history buff. Though it drags at points, A Spy for the Union is beautifully written. Recko is either a wonderful self-editor and hired a good one as there are areas where the book reads like the best fiction. Webster was a dedicated agent who made a number of dangerous trips into enemy territory and the risk he took was vivid on the page. The details of travel were quite interesting. Let’s not kid ourselves, the title gives away what ultimately happens to Timothy Webster, as does the description, but the journey is what is really compelling.

If you are a person interested in Civil War history, spies or just really interesting stories of early life in the United States in the time of crisis, A Spy for the Union is a must read. Pick it up today.

 

Read an excerpt and buy A Spy for the Union: The Life and Execution of Timothy Webster by Corey Recko on

Amazon U.S.   Amazon U.K.   Amazon CA

About Corey Recko
For more information about Corey Recko visit his website. You can connect with him on Goodreads, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Twitter @coreyrecko.

Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride by Michael Wallis

Publication Date: March 17, 2008

 

Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride by Michael Wallis

Better World Books Reading Challenge – A Book that Rewrites History

Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride by Michael Wallis is a retelling of William Antrim’s story based on what is known of his life from cradle to grave and a look at the events that contributed to his outlook on life and interaction with the growing western population.

Continue reading Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride by Michael Wallis

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

Publication Date: January 1, 2006

 

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten BoomBetter World Book Challenge 3 – A Childhood Favorite

In The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, the author and her family lived in Haarlem in the Netherlands in 1940 when the Nazis invaded. As Calvinists, they saw it as their duty to help God’s people and set about creating a hiding place in their home for Jewish people that came to them for refuge. The Hiding Place follows their quest to save those they could and their ultimate capture and internment.  Continue reading The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

Twelve Days In May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane Brimner

Publication Date: October 24, 2017

 

Twelve Days In May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane BrimnerTwelve Days In May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane Brimnerchronicles the journey of 13 black and white Civil Rights Activists from Washington D.C. to New Orleans. The riders planned a protest of the southern states ignoring two Supreme Court rulings that segregation on buses crossing state lines was unconstitutional. The protest was meant to be peaceful and shine a light on the nonobservance of the rulings in the south. What met them on their journey was violence and hate.    Continue reading Twelve Days In May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane Brimner

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Release Date: February 2, 2010

 

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca SklootIn 1951, Tobacco Farmer Henrietta Lacks died of cervical cancer. Before her death, cervical cells were harvested without her consent and became the first human cells to grow in a lab. They would grow an entire generation of new cells in a 24-hour period. Over the years those cells, known as HeLa to scientists, became a hot commodity in the scientific world standing at the forefront of some of the greatest medical breakthroughs, but Henrietta Lacks remained largely unknown. Unknown — until her daughter started looking to find out more about the mother she’d never known. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is her story.    Continue reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict by Austin Reed

Publication Date: January 24, 2017

 

The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict by Austin ReedThe Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict by Austin Reed is the nineteenth-century account of his life as a free, black man born in 1823 who spent his life between hard labor, indentured servitude and incarceration at America’s first industrial prison. The recently discovered manuscript written when Reed was still in prison was authenticated by Yale scholar, Caleb Smith and includes letters written by Reed later in his life.    Continue reading The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict by Austin Reed

The Frood: The Authorised & Very Official History of Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Jem Roberts

Publication Date: March 1, 2016

 

The Frood: The Authorised & Very Official History of Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Jem RobertsThe Frood: The Authorised & Very Official History of Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Jem Roberts is an examination of the influences and impact of the late Douglas Adams on British comedy, his most famous work, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and his legacy.

Continue reading The Frood: The Authorised & Very Official History of Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Jem Roberts

Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family by Karen Tintori

Publication Date: July 8, 2008

 

Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family by Karen TintoriIn Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family by Karen Tintori, the author writes about hints of matters that no one in the family would talk about. When the sister became the “one they got rid of” as a result of her aunt’s slip of the tongue, Tintori felt compelled to pursue the secret that her family had kept for many years. The author takes the reader on the process from innocent genealogy research to a deep secret uncovered.

Continue reading Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family by Karen Tintori

Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2016

If you are looking for books dealing with human rights, check out those that have been reviewed on this homepage. Our main post with an overview of books and movies were reviewed for human rights day 2016 will be published later. At the moment, enjoy the Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2016 and make sure to visit this site later.

 

Contempt of Court: The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching That Launched a Hundred Years of Federalism by Mark Curriden & Leroy Phillips

Genre: nonfiction, human rights, political science, African-American studies

In 1906, a white woman was brutally raped in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Ed Johnson, a black man, was working at his restaurant job when the attack happened but was arrested and charged with the crime. When his lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court for a stay of execution and that stay was granted, local folks, led by officials, took the law into their own hands. In a history-changing move, the lynch mob faced federal legal repercussions. Ed  Johnson cleared of the rape charges 100 years later. You can read the review of a “Contempt of Court” here.

Continue reading Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2016