The whole vampire part was ok and entertaining enough, but I particularly enjoyed this book as a vehicle for Google/Wiki-wormholes relating to actual events that I didn't know about. For instance, did you know that there was a Congressman (Preston Brooks) in the 1850s who, enraged by an anti-slavery speech by a Senator (Charles Sumner), attacked said Senator with a cane? The Senator was so badly injured that he couldn't return to his duties for 3 years, and the Congressman was never charged with any crime. That really happened!
And did you know that there was some serious snarky drama between Lincoln and his Union Army general-in-chief? And that there used to be slave auctions on the National Mall?
I also knew nothing about the Dred Scott decision until I read this book, and I'd be interested in reading a biography about the man if anybody has a recommendation.
As I read this, my boyfriend asked repeatedly, "why don't you just read a biography on Lincoln?" As someone who struggles to find most historical non-fiction interesting, this was actually a helpful introduction to a number of topics that I'd like to learn more about. But, if you're a better human being than I am and enjoy non-fiction, I might suggest you skip the vampires and just read a biography.