What We Are Reading Today: Lincoln’s Spies by Douglas C. Waller

Updated 08 September 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Lincoln’s Spies by Douglas C. Waller

A major addition to the history of the Civil War, Lincoln’s Spies is a riveting account of the secret battles waged by Union agents to save a nation, according to a review published on goodreads.com.

Filled with espionage, sabotage, and intrigue, it is also a striking portrait of a shrewd president who valued what his operatives uncovered.

Veteran journalist Douglas Waller, who has written ground-breaking intelligence histories, turns his sights on the shadow war of four secret agents for the North— three men and one woman. From the tense days before Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration in 1861 to the surrender at Appomattox four years later, Waller delivers a fast-paced narrative of the heroes — and scoundrels — who informed Lincoln’s generals of enemy positions.

Famed detective Allan Pinkerton mounted a successful covert operation to slip Lincoln through Baltimore before his inauguration to foil an assassination attempt. But he failed as Gen. George McClellan’s spymaster, delivering faulty intelligence reports that overestimated Confederate strength.

Behind these secret operatives was a president who was an avid consumer of intelligence and a ruthless aficionado of clandestine warfare, willing to take chances to win the war. 

What We Are Reading Today: Kill Reply All by Victoria Turk

Updated 18 January 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Kill Reply All by Victoria Turk

Victoria Turk’s Kill Reply All “is one of the more amusing digital-etiquette books you’ll read,” says a review in The New York Times. 

“Simply put, social media has created a new universe of ways we can be mean to one another. So digital good manners are a great kindness, whether they apply to friends, work or love,” it added.  

Turk “provides an indispensable guide to minding our manners in a brave new online world, and making peace with the platforms, apps, and devices we love to hate,” said another critic.

A review in goodreads.com said the digital revolution “has put us all within a few clicks, taps, and swipes of one another. But familiarity can breed contempt, and while we’re more likely than ever to fall in love online, we’re also more likely to fall headfirst into a raging fight with a stranger or into an unhealthy obsession with the phones in our pockets. If you’ve ever encountered the surreal, aggravating battlefields of digital life and wondered why we all don’t go analog, this is the book for you.”