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Shadow of the Long Knives
Thomas Boyd
Subject: fiction
Date Published: Oct 20 2008

ISBN: 0980190975

Author Thomas Boyd is best known for the novel "Through the Wheat" that has long been considered the greatest American novel of World War I ever written.  Boyd was a Marine in WWI, seeing a great deal of fighting action, and was deeply influenced by what he went through on the battlefield.  Later, he wrote for newspapers, and while working in a bookstore and writing the literary page of the newspaper in St. Paul, Minnesota, was befriended by F. Scott Fitzgerald, who put him in contact with his own famous editor, Maxwell Perkins.  As a result, Boyd published several books with Scribners, all edited by Perkins, including "The Shadow of the Long Knives" in 1928.  This well written historical novel is set in the Ohio frontier during the 25 year period before and during the American Revolution.  As with many other Boyd novels, the main character struggles to cope with ethical and moral issues in the face of the sweep of history over which he has little or no control.  The novel is singularly sympathetic to the situation of American Indians and is quite unusual, especially for its period, in portraying their cultural and human characteristics.  This novel, out of print for more than 75 years, should appeal to any reader of historical fiction, as well as readers interested in colonial American history, who will find this story remarkably faithful to historical detail.