Do you like good historical fiction? How about an exciting mystery?
“The Whiskey Rebels”, an excellent novel by Davis Liss combines the best of each genre and works very nicely on both levels.
Liss has chosen a somewhat under-appreciated era in the history of what became the United States … the years following the hard won successes of the American Revolution and the subsequent grudging acceptance of the controversial new Constitution and the creation of the Federal government.
George Washington is still President, but unlike his first four years in office, his second term is plagued by the ongoing personal and philosophical battles between his two brilliant cabinet members, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.
The story centers on the far-reaching economic and financial goals Hamilton has established for the new nation in his role as Secretary of Treasury. The office makes Hamilton the second most powerful man in the nation. What he does with that power through such seemingly innocent issues as the imposition of the whiskey excise tax has a serious impact on the average citizen, producing a great deal of sectional resentment, and threatening the stability of the nation itself.
While sticking to the known historical facts “The Whiskey Rebels” provides a wonderful fictional backdrop to the actual events of the time, giving the reader the opportunity to view what happened from several different perspectives and to delve into what might have happened as well.
Those who have studied the Federalist era will have a head start on the overall plot, but knowing what happened on a macro level will not in any way reduce enjoyment of the author’s narrative and the strong set of fictional characters and the exciting subplots he creates to flesh out the story.