Picked this up in Yorktown, VA at the National Park Gift Shop and was excited about a book about the history of crafts in the Civil War. Several of my favorite subjects!
Unfortunately the book seemed to be based almost entirely on speculation by the author. I think it's entirely possible that quilts were used to communicate messages, but the 'code' described by Tobin seems completely imagined. Reading a few comments and other reviews seem to imply that people in the quilting community also find the claims to be unfounded and suspect.
It's a shame, I was looking forward to learning more about the African-American quilting tradition. Some of the patterns looked like quilts I had from my great-grandmother, and I was curious about how the patterns and techniques might have migrated from the Deep South to the West. Unfortunately the book is confusingly organized and never felt well-researched to me. I was left with a feeling that the authors pulled together lots of little facts and tried to tie them into a whole theory that just falls apart.