Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Banished Children of Eve: A Novel of Civil War New York” as Want to Read:
Banished Children of Eve:  A Novel of Civil War New York
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Banished Children of Eve: A Novel of Civil War New York

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  120 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
The Civil War has just entered its third bloody year and the North is about to impose its first military draft, a decision that in New York City will spark the most devastating and destructive riot in American history. Peter Quinn, acclaimed author of Looking for Jimmy and Hour of the Cat, relates the events of this tumultuous time through the lives of people drawn from ev ...more
Paperback, 624 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by The Overlook Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 389)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Rochelle Schwab
Jan 04, 2014 Rochelle Schwab rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the author of a historical novel that is also set during the Civil War, I was blown away by the magnificently researched depiction of the times in The Banished Children of Eve. It’s hard to believe that author Peter Quinn was not actually alive in 1863, and a witness to New York during the Civil War: to the newly built mansions and to the shanty towns, to the concert saloons and orphanages, to the theaters and the railway cars which were switched from steam engines to horsepower when entering ...more
Jan 21, 2014 Melinda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bad-books
I can't get into books that start this slow. Maybe it will get better, but I'm not interested in sticking around to find out.
Eamon Loingsigh
Oct 31, 2012 Eamon Loingsigh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A bright-eyed writer, a noir-ish Irisher that grew up in an NYC orphanage who lies himself out of pickles, a mixed race actress, a housemaid, a minstrel, an Irish cop turned Republican... All of these characters and hundreds more float throught the city under the awning of Brooks Brothers, riding ferries to Brooklyn, drinking bathtub whiskey in dark dives and just trying to survive in a city in 1863 where the police are more corrupt than the politicians and the citizens must learn to scam to mak ...more
Aug 01, 2007 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quinn's amazing book tells the stories of various New Yorkers involved and swept up in the Draft Riots of 1863. From the poor Irish live-in maids to a mulatto actress to a wealthy American businessman who built himself up from nothing, what truly makes this book beautiful, powerful, and captivating is Quinn's eloquent and simple ability to tell each individual's tale. At least half of the book is spent following each character from their birthplace (some in New Jersey, some the South, many from ...more
Nov 24, 2015 Tfp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Peter Quinn's meticulous research embodies his characters with realism so powerful, the reader can smell the sweat and blood of the New York City draft riots of1863. Mainstream history books don't contain or won't publish essential details of America's past.
Jan 03, 2010 Kyra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I might not have stuck with this if I had not been trapped without reading options on a family visit where everyone else endlessly watched television. Very slow start but gradually the plot, the writing and the characters snared me. Scalpeens and booly dogs abound - the period detail is amazing - historical characters like Stephen Foster and Civil War general Zook (yep, Zook!) mix in with the fictional characters seamlessly. Terrific book once you get through the ponderously slow first 250 pages ...more
Mar 02, 2016 Peggy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Gave it a try, but just couldn't stay with it. Perhaps I'll try again one day
Dennis Fischetti
Jeff Gillenkirk
Oct 02, 2013 Jeff Gillenkirk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a big fan of historical novels but this is "right there." Tremendously engaging story of early Irish immigrant culture in NYC against the confusion and tragedy of the Civil War (did you know much of New York was against fighting the war?). A very enjoyable, challenging and informative piece of historical fiction. The amount of research that went into this effort is astonishing, as is the amount one learns of Irish-american and civil war history. Highly recommended.
Marcia Miller
Dec 01, 2015 Marcia Miller rated it liked it
Gifted author and storyteller, Peter Quinn made me slog way too much while reading this novel of old New York.
Norma Wine
A compelling and carefully researched novel set in the turbulent days leading up to the American Civil War. Quinn captures the oppression caused by poverty, crime, anti-immigrant and racist attitudes which erupted into chaos in the city of New York. You think New York City is a tough place now? If you have an interest in the subject, this book does a better job of depicting this time and place than did Martin Scorcese's Gangs of New York. (Sorry Marty).
Jul 27, 2014 Sherie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author gives his readers plenty of characters and all with sufficient history. Overall it was a good read about the New York draft riots in 1863, but there were times when the details got in the way of the fluidity of the story. All quite well researched and interesting characters, carrying their cumbersome history wherever they went . One question I had,of what importance was the character of Stephen Foster that he made it into this story?
Feb 20, 2014 Kevin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not what I expected or hoped for. While the character development was satisfactory, the plot read too much like a series of short stories. Most disappointing was that it may have been Civil War Era, but it was not Civil War. I guess I'm glad that I read it. I would have preferred a more connected plot and would liked to have learned a lot more about the time.
Jan 22, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs.
A captivating book told through multiple characters. It gives a gripping and historically accurate view of New York during the Civil War but the war isn't the focus or the Civil War is not the war that is describe in the book. Very good!
Very gritty; impressive scholarship.
Jun 24, 2016 Karen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
The Civil War has just entered its third bloody year and the North is about to impose its first military draft, a decision that in New York City will spark the most devastating and destructive riot in American history.
Nov 23, 2009 Alan rated it really liked it
Everything a great historical novel should be - atmosphere, a mix of real and fictional stock characters, compelling plot, and a fast pace. Also, excellent insight into the Civil War Draft Riots in NYC.
Set in the summer leading up to the Civil War draft riots in New York. A good portrait of the that period of time in Manhattan.
Great overview of 19c NYC w special attention to the Irish and the role of the Catholic Church
This book brought the draft riots to life for me.
Meredith O'Brien
Meredith O'Brien marked it as to-read
Oct 20, 2016
loisa added it
Oct 17, 2016
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 28, 2016
Jane is currently reading it
Sep 26, 2016
Nick marked it as to-read
Sep 26, 2016
Alyssa Dodson
Alyssa Dodson marked it as to-read
Sep 25, 2016
Deb marked it as to-read
Sep 22, 2016
Hannah Facknitz
Hannah Facknitz marked it as to-read
Sep 17, 2016
Amy Harper
Amy Harper marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • City of Glory: A Novel of War and Desire in Old Manhattan
  • The Night Inspector
  • Victorian America: Transformations in Everyday Life, 1876-1915
  • Lord Kirkle's Money (Beyond the Western Sea, #2)
  • Turn, Magic Wheel
  • The Irish Americans: A History
  • The Sacrificial Circumcision of the Bronx  (New York: The Five Books of Moses Bk.2)
  • Echoes of a Distant Summer
  • Five Points: The Nineteenth-Century New York City Neighborhood That Invented Tap Dance, Stole Elections and Became the World's Most Notorious Slum
  • The Good Old Days--They Were Terrible!
  • The Candlemass Road
  • The End of the Hunt
  • The Measure of Manhattan: The Tumultuous Career and Surprising Legacy of John Randel, Jr., Cartographer, Surveyor, Inventor
  • The Notorious Dr. August: His Real Life and Crimes
  • Empire Rising
  • Memoirs of Hecate County
  • In Love
  • On an Irish Island
Peter Quinn is the author of the novel Banished Children of Eve (winner of an American Book Award) and previously served as speechwriter for New York governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo. A third-generation New Yorker whose granparents were born in Ireland, he is currently Editorial Director for Time Warner and lives in Hastings, New York.
More about Peter Quinn...

Share This Book