I have long admired the writing of award-winning historian William C. Davis, and have several of his books in my collection. His style is crisp and clean, easy to read, and his narratives flow well and are entertaining as well as educational. He has appeared on countless TV programs as an expert, lectured widely, and edited magazines and historical articles, as well as writing more than forty books on a wide range of historical topics, including the American Civil War.
Davis’s latest effort, The Rogue Republic: How Would Be Patriots Waged the Shortest Revolution in American History, is a tightly woven, well crafted book that neatly tells the story of one of America’s early civil wars — the 1810 rebellion of West Florida (which comprised much of today’s Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana). Those areas would secede from the Union in 1860, but fifty years earlier, the forefathers of the Confederates also staged their own rebellion. Now largely forgotten by the general public, William C. Davis has brought life to this rather obscure story, one that pre-staged the Civil War and shaped attitudes and anti-government emotions, and paved the way for self-rule sentiments.
The promotional material from the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, states, “With an eye for eccentric characters and minute details, Davis tells the story of how the four parishes north of New Orleans between the Mississippi and Pearl Rivers captured Baton Rouge, inaugurated their own government, and launched a military campaign to take Mobile and the rest of Spanish West Florida from Spain during their seventy-one days of independence.”