Wild Rose: The True Story of a Civil War Spy
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Wild Rose: The True Story of a Civil War Spy

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  97 ratings  ·  18 reviews
For sheer bravado and style, no woman in the North or South rivaled the Civil War heroine Rose O’Neale Greenhow. Fearless spy for the Confederacy, glittering Washington hostess, legendary beauty and lover, Rose Greenhow risked everything for the cause she valued more than life itself. In this superb portrait, biographer Ann Blackman tells the surprising true story of a uni...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 23rd 2006 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 2005)
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Rose O'Neale Greenhow generally merits little more than a footnote in most histories of the American Civil War, so it was fascinating to read an entire biography devoted to her. I'd heard about her role as a Civil War spy for the Confederacy, short-lived as it was: most notably her role in alerting Beauregard to Union troops movement that enabled him to bring up reinforcements which arguably led to the South winning the first battle of the Civil War, at Bull Run.

But her life before the Civil War...more
I believe this is how biographies should be written. I was fascinated with Rose O'Neale Greenhow and the times she lived in. Family history is fascinating to me and I have found my ancestors who lived during the civil war period. Albeit, my ancestors were in rural towns and villages, and Rose O'Neale Greenhow lived in the midst of the political excitement, this book gave me the flavor of what political atmosphere of the time.

Rose Greenhow fascinates me. This story also doesn't pull any punches,...more
Laura Burkholder
For me, the beginning third of the book was a slow read. I am unsure if this was due to do many facts and back story, but by the middle and end, I was much more caught up in the story and trying to guess how it would end. The way Rose died seems so small and unnecessary compared to the history she ultimately helped form. It was a good reminder of how frail life can be.
Having visited ft fisher several times, the story took a much more interesting scope when Rose was finally in the south and the...more
I really wanted to like this book. It had a great historical setting and an intriguing heroine, but somehow it just fell flat for me. I think part of the problem was the lack of surviving documents written by Rose herself, so the author had to rely on other sources and sometimes I felt I received the same information in multiple chapters. I'm not sorry I read this book as it was interesting to read about the Civil War through the lens of a female spy, but I felt it could have been much more capt...more
Pudds Downing
This book served to reinforce my belief that women have been largely and unfairly ignored in the telling of history. I will readily admit that my knowledge of the Civil War is not extensive, but I had never heard of the women spies who served their countries and risked everything during the war. While I do not agree with the stand that Rose took, I admire her courage and committment to her cause.
I picked up this book so I could see if doing my senior research project on female spies in the Civil War would be interesting and find something new to write about. While the book didn't cover much on the actual spycraft of women Confederate Spies, it was a very interesting read about one women's determination for her cause.
Shala Howell
If you're expecting the story of a woman straight out of _Alias_, go elsewhere. Spycraft in the Civil War simply wasn't that advanced. Measured against our current standards, Rose Greenhow wasn't so much a spy as an extremely well-connected woman who was a very determined correspondent. Still, an interesting read.
informative and readable non-fiction account of a real female Civil War spy. The book utilizes research including Rose's memoir and other accounts to tell the story of her life and activism. It's a wonderful glimpse into Civil War and pre-Civil War life in Washington, Richmond and Paris.
Jun 27, 2009 Karen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Karen by: Emilie
A good read regarding Pre Civil War. This book shows us the other side of history the side we don't often hear from, the loser of the war. The people are easy to identify with and show us how and why someone could believe in slavery and other things we may find ethically wrong.
Mike Shoop
Interesting bio, learned quite a bit about this notorious Confederate spy.
I appreciated the different side of the civil war from what I've read about or learned in the past. Rose was an amazing woman and truly a unique, fascinating, strong woman of those times. Liked the book. Found it moved a little slow sometimes, but still enjoyed.
This is a very compelling story and well told. Anyone who wants to get a full view of the civil war should read this book. This woman was a spitfire from the get go and the spy ring she created was a thorn in the Union side for a very long time.
While this is an enjoyable book, chock full of history, I wouldn't call it a book about Rose Greenhow. It's more a book about the period and it's affects on one woman and her family. It's not a true biography but still quite engaging.
Kathleen Hulser
Historically a bit naive about the circumstances of loyalty and regional affiliation, but worthwhile for its exploration of the Washington, DC party/gossip/seduction nexus during the Civil War. Well-written and well-rounded as biography.
I didn't like it at all.
It was because of all the BORING facts and so on. I stopped reading it for a while,then picked it back up only because I had to write a book report on it. So, I therefore I don't reccomend it to anyone.
James Smithson
I enjoyed reading about Rose Greenhow and I felt as if I knew her once I had finished the book. When I visit the ocean and look at it I think of her and all that was lost.
A side of the Civil War that had eluded me...without Rose the war might have ended at Bull Run. One person can make a difference for good or ill
non-fiction, but truly feels like a fiction novel!
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