A Most Wicked Conspiracy by Paul Starobin

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline for A Most Wicked Conspiracy:

I should have been a gold miner in the 1900s.

Quick synopsis:

The story of how a crooked politician tried to steal the gold right out from miners in Nome, Alaska around 1900.

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like:

Gold was literally just sitting around waiting to be found. The process wasn’t necessarily easy, but you didn’t have to dig hundreds of feet into the earth. In fact, you could just go to the beach, literally.

Fun Fact for History Nerds:

We tend to forget senators were not always directly elected. Until 1913, they were appointed by state legislatures which, as we clearly know now, is a recipe for corruption.

My Take on A Most Wicked Conspiracy:

This book should have been boring. Ultimately, it is about a scandal not widely publicized, involving people we mostly never hear of, and settled without any murders or other major outbreaks of violence.

And yet, I loved this book.

Starobin does precisely what you should do when writing about a little-known story in history: get on with it. Starobin sets the stage to understand the main characters and the setting of Nome, Alaska and gets to the story. He doesn’t waste time and focuses on the pivotal points of the story. He explains who someone is and then highlights their attributes in the way they act during this episode in history. His pacing makes what could have been a very humdrum story into something you don’t want to stop reading.

He also points out a few scenarios where American politicians, lawyers, and judges did their jobs because they cared about the country. It did happen from time to time!


This is a fun and easy read. Buy it here!

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A Most Wicked Conspiracy by Paul Starobin
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