I've been reviewing books for a couple of years now, and for the majority of books I've reviewed, they've all been a specific genre. I was getting a little tired of reading similar things back to back, so I decided to branch out a little. I really enjoy studying and reading about history, so when I saw that 'Our Man In Charleston' was available, it was a no brainer. Christopher Dickey has done a masterful job (in my honest opinion) shedding light on some behind the scenes diplomatic missions that the British consul, Robert Bunch, participated in prior to and during the American Civil War. While there were times when the book seemed a little slow (it was probably due to the time of day I was reading whenever I felt this way), those times were few and far between. For a history book, I feel like Dickey does a great job writing to keep attention and convey information without putting the reader asleep or sacrificing content for entertainment.
For someone who really enjoys studying war-history, I don't recall ever learning about British Consul Robert Bunch. I easily recognized many of the other names of people who Bunch interacted with, and many of the other 'incidents' that happened in that period of history. It was really cool to read and see how Bunch's life and work tied in with the greater events that were taking place during that time. I don't know for sure if it was Dickey's writing style, the content of which he wrote, or both, but I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat in many of the chapters feeling nervous and anxious as Bunch worked tirelessly and secretly to try to subvert the formation and recognition of this new 'country' (the Confederacy). Robert Bunch had to live craftily and cleverly, appearing to be a 'friend' of the south, when in reality he hated it. The biggest reason Bunch had such distain for the south was because of their treatment of people of color (usage as slaves) and their desire to reopen the Middle Passage (Mid-Atlantic Slave Trade Route). I have developed a great appreciation for the life and work of Consul Bunch in light of everything that he endured and put up with all with the hopes of eventually leading to the end of slavery in the United States, and eventually the world!
I HIGHLY recommend this book if you have any interest in history, especially the American Civil War period. Christopher Dickey was very detailed in his presentation of events involving Bunch and how they played a part in the greater events that were going on during that time. He also does a great job of utilizing sources such as actual journal and letter entries from Bunch and his superiors from both sides of the Atlantic.
"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."