A Most Wicked Conspiracy recounts McKenzie's plot to rob the gold fields. It's a story of how America's political and economic life was in the grip of domineering, self-dealing, seemingly-untouchable party bosses in cahoots with robber barons, Senators and even Presidents. Yet it is also the tale of a righteous resistance of working-class miners, muckraking journalists, and courageous judges who fought to expose a conspiracy and reassert the rule of law.
Through a bold set of characters and a captivating narrative, Paul Starobin examines power and rampant corruption during a pivotal time in America, drawing undoubted parallels with present-day politics and society.
About the Author
Paul Starobin is the author of Madness Rules the Hour: Charleston, 1860 and the Mania for War, praised by the New York Times as a "fast-paced, engagingly written account" of the hysteria that descended on Charleston, South Carolina, on the eve of the Civil War. He has been a frequent contributor to the Atlantic and is a former Moscow bureau chief for Business Week. He has written for other publications including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, City Journal, Politico, and National Geographic. He lives with his family in Orleans, Massachusetts.
"Entertaining....Sturdy research and clear prose reveal some truly abominable snowmen wreaking havoc in Alaska."—Kirkus Reviews
"Well-researched and entertaining, A Most Wicked Conspiracy is an impressive accomplishment."—Historical Novels Society
"Into this narrative Mr. Starobin skillfully weaves the political evolution of Alaska, purchased from Russia in 1867, and the insidious rise of nativism at the turn of the century....In his lively account of the Nome conspiracy, Mr. Starobin takes satisfaction in the outcome: Even during the Gilded Age's rampant capitalism, the American justice system prevented McKenzie from looting Alaska."
—Wall Street Journal
"Thoroughly-researched and skillfully-written...It's a story well worth telling, and Paul Starobin tells it very well indeed."—Washington Times
"Starobin tells a jaunty tale of jaw-dropping greed at the dawn of the 20th century."—Associated Press
"...this book is important. If we do not study and remember our history, we are doomed to repeat it... This book also serves as a hopeful reminder that ultimately there are people who will stand up for what is right."
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Starobin keeps the drama flowing."—Booklist
"The Gilded Age at its gaudiest, Alaska at its most demanding, human nature at its . . . most human. A rollicking tale with sobering lessons for today."— H.W. Brands, Professor; Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at University of Texas, Austin
"In this vivid tale, Paul Starobin takes us back to a time when American dynamism and imagination came head-to-head with chicanery and fraud. Set in the wild Alaskan gold fields, the struggle of enterprising miners against the greed of swindlers and the corruption of public officials provided a fit coda to the Gilded Age and offers a warning for our own time."—