Posted by: ushistoryfiles | November 29, 2009

Book Review – The Great Locomotive Chase

The good people at Osprey Publishing sent me a copy of Gordon Rottman’s The Great Locomotive Chase.  This book was of particular interest to me since I live about 35 miles from where the raiders were finally caught.  I’ve also been to the Atlanta Cyclorama and seen the Texas, so needless to say I was looking forward to reading this book.

True to form the folks at Osprey have done a good job illustrating this book.  Pictures of the participants, the trains, a few current photographs of the locations, and two really neat maps all arm the reader with the visualizations needed to enhance the story.

Rottman has also produced a readable work.  His writing is clear and crisp and he weaves an interesting story in a way that keeps the readers attention.  He has one slightly confused sentence on Page 31 but otherwise manages the timeline well.  One bigger mistake I found was on page 54.  Rottman states, “On May 31, 12 raiders…were transported to Knoxville, Kentucky for trial.”  This is an obvious mistake.  Now there is a Knoxville, Kentucky, but it is near the Ohio border up by Cincinnati.  Of course the author meant Knoxville, Tennessee since Kentucky was a Union state and Tennessee was part of the Confederacy.  Mistakes do happen and I would say that this one does not take away from the book.

I do recommend this book.  It is a good, enjoyable read and you won’t be disappointed.

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