Clint Johnson. A Vast and Fiendish Plot: The Confederate Attack on New York City. Citadel Press, 2010. (78 of) 294 pages.
I read about a quarter of the book before stopping out of boredom. It reads like a term paper. The author’s idea of making the story engaging is to throw in a surprising bit of trivia now and then. But mostly I was bored because, 78 pages in, the book was still not about “the Confederate attack on New York City,” as the subtitle promises. It talks about New York’s economics and politics as they relate to the South, which I’m sure is good background information for the promised subject, and probably many people might find it interesting. If it was a reasonably well-written book, I might have gotten through that part (presumably it does get around to the “vast and fiendish plot” eventually). But it’s not well-written; it’s essentially a list of facts and statistics. And I just don’t care.