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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scotland's Secret Role in the American Civil War, 29 Sept. 2006
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This book paints a fascinating picture of Scotland's little known involvement in the cataclysmic American Civil War. During the four years of the war, ruthless Scottish businessmen built and operated ships which secretly challenged the Union's crippling blockade of Confederate ports. Incredible fortunes were made, and as Graham cogently argues, the profits from this morally questionable trade contributed substantially to the growth and eventual dominance of the Clyde's shipbuilding industry. Although rigorously researched, the book occasionally reads like an adventure story as it relates the daring, albeit unscrupulous, activities of its protagonists. The author does not ignore the striking irony of this - that huge profits were being made by providing a lifeline to the Confederacy, and arguably prolonging the war, in a country which was vociferous in its condemnation of slavery. At a time when many in this country have strong feelings about our involvement in an 'American War' in the Middle East, the book also has thought-provoking contemporary resonance concerning the hypocrisy of war. Readers can make up their own mind about that, but I would thoroughly recommend this book and believe that it represents an important contribution to the history of nineteenth-century Scotland.
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