Sunday, February 18, 2007

"The Hunt for Confederate Gold"

I just finished reading Thomas Moore’s novel “The Hunt for Confederate Gold.” The book is two books really, one part set during the fall of the Confederacy intertwined with one part set in the present. The part set in the past follows the adventures of a young Confederate officer who is charged by the Confederate treasury secretary with the task of keeping the Confederacy’s gold reserves out of the hands of the invading Yankees. The part set in the present follows a disillusioned Iraq war veteran who returns to college and ends up on a quest to find the hidden treasure before the Feds do.

I actually enjoyed the part set in the 19th century more than the present, although there is less of it in the book. That part was more of a rousing adventure, filled with danger, as the young officer must sneak the gold out of the south, aided only by a handful of military cadets. (I’m being deliberately vague here, in case you read the book.) The part set in the present is less exciting and more political. The present day heroes are neo-Confederates who have plans for the gold to secure the liberty of the Southern people.

Author Thomas Moore is apparently a true son of the South and paints a glowing picture of the Confederacy as the last great hope for human freedom. While he rightfully points out the tyrannical sins of the 19th century Union and it’s modern day Fed successors, he seems to gloss over the sins of the Confederacy. Besides affecting the slaves, slavery was an immoral institution that had to be propped up with equally immoral laws. If you can get busted for teaching a black person to read the Bible, for instance, a libertarian utopia it ain’t. Still, the book is useful in challenging the notion of many of us Yankees that the Union was absolute good and the Confederacy was absolute evil, that the war was between high-minded abolitionists and wicked slave owners. Moore points out that the Civil War, like many wars, was more about money than ideals.

All in all, I recommend “The Hunt for Confederate Gold.” It’s from Fusilier Books and available wherever fine books are sold.

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