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Damn Cranky
Date of Review: 
Tom Carson
Village Voice Literary Supplement

Siepel's book is decent, solid, popular biography, organizing the facts of a dramatic life into clear, easily assimilated episodes. Even the baldness of his style gets spiked with updated 19th-century locutions that make clear his empathy, and get yours. And it's more than a little interesting to have what Mosby actually did laid out in relatively unclouded terms. Siepel gives us the entire life, which spanned a half-century of peacetime after Appomattox, and which puts a good many wartime events into perspective; it says something about Mosby's status that no other book has ever thought to follow him past the surrender, when he was only 31, but already in the past tense as a myth.