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BOOK REVIEW: THE WHISKEY REBELS
BY DAVID LISS

We hope you enjoy this book review by Cy Hilterman.



I have always loved history and historical fiction from the Revolutionary War period. The Whiskey Rebels takes place in the Philadelphia, New York City, and the area between there and Western Pennsylvania shortly after the war ended. The book is mostly factual with only a few fictional characters molded into actuality with a bit of fiction to enhance the story. David Liss writes in a style characteristic with the period, making the reader feel in the middle of the action and descriptions.

Alexander Hamilton’s running of the United States Treasury and his attempt to keep it flourishing amidst those that would attack the system to gain financial advantage for themselves became quite a challenge in those days. There was little communication other than riders racing from one point to another to announce any major moves or news so the road to success or ruin for the government or individuals was in constant change that would be unknown in some areas.

Ethan Saunders and a close friend had been discharged from the military and charged with spying, a charge that ruined their lives for some time. The many characters in the book, most of whom were actual people from that period of history, are intertwined throughout the book, making you sometimes wonder who were the “good guys” and who were the “bad guys” and which were helping the United States government and which were against it. The distilling of a new type of whiskey came to the western Pennsylvania area making that particular blend known all over the broad area. That type of news traveled fast. When the government heard about this new whiskey, they imposed a whiskey excise tax making the distillers irate. This tax caused much fighting and killing.

I will not go into detail to describe and name the many that made this story such a great read for one such as myself that can’t get enough history of that period. Know that there are many and they are described very ably by David Liss as they travel from one area to another, sometimes being attacked, sometimes attacking, and killing several along the way to preserve their way of life. If you like period historical fiction from the post-Revolutionary War era, you will eat this book up.

REVIEWED BY CY HILTERMAN

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, CY HILTERMAN


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