I received a free Kindle copy of this book courtesy of Net Galley and Simon and Schuster, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would write a review and post it on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon and my history book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages.
I requested this book as I am very interested in American History and in particular the civil war. The subject matter in the description made this book sound like it would be very interesting.
O’Harrow has written a very good biography of Montgomery Meigs. While it starts out a bit slow with his early years, it quickly picks up pace and turns into an interesting read. Over the years Meigs developed a reputation as a man who could get things done including bringing clean water to Washington D.C. via aqueduct and reducing the level of disease in the Capitol, rebuilding the Capitol building itself and being one of the initial members of the National Academy of Science.and doing it while maintaining his standards and not giving into the graft that was rampant at that time. His role in the Civil War is his most recognized achievement. Again, his standards and creative, logical thinking made sure that supplies arrived on time and in decent condition. After the war he played a significant role in the development of Arlington Cemetery and the Smithsonian Institution.
I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in American History and in particular the role that Meigs played prior, during and after the Civil War.