Tuesday 21 November 2023

Have a peek between the covers of The Middle Generation: A Novel of John Quincy Adams and the Monroe Doctrine by M. B. Zucker


The Middle Generation: A Novel of John Quincy Adams and the Monroe Doctrine 
By M. B. Zucker

Publication Date: November 7th 2023

Publisher: Historium Press

Page Length: 432
Genre: Historical Fiction / Biographical Fiction 

The classical era of American history began with the Revolution and ended with emancipation. Between these bookends lies the absorbing yet overshadowed epic of a new nation spearheading liberty’s cause in a world skeptical of freedom arriving at all, much less in slaver’s garb. M. B. Zucker takes readers back to that adolescent country in the care of an enigmatic guide, John Quincy Adams, heir to one president by blood and another, Washington, by ideology. Adams is the missing link between the founders and Abraham Lincoln, and is nigh unanimously regarded as America’s foremost Secretary of State. Through Adams’ eyes, readers will experience one of history’s greatest and most forgotten crises: his showdown with Europe over South American independence, the conflict which prefigured the Monroe Doctrine. 

With his signature dialogue and his close study of Adams’ 51 volume diary, M. B. Zucker’s The Middle Generation is a political thriller and character piece that surpasses his achievement in The Eisenhower Chronicles and ascends to the cinematic heights of the historical epics of David Lean and Steven Spielberg. It is an unforgettable portrait and a leap forward for one of our rising historical fiction novelists. 


“The Emperor authorized me to make the following proposal to your government,” the Baron de Tuyll, Russia’s minister, said, “though I request you inform me in advance of declination. In that case, it shall remain informal.” A dark figure, wearing black with a red collar and gold tassels on his shoulders, the medals won fighting Napoleon’s Grande Armée pinned to his uniform. His accent was a baritone deeper than any I’d ever heard, the croak of a man broken from lifelong service to his sire. Other voices modified via emotion—happiness, tenderness, hatred, vexation, and so on. 
Not the Baron’s. His was the voice of a man who hated the world and everyone in it, including his master. 
“What proposal? I asked. We spoke in English. 
“He wants the United States to ratify the Holy Alliance Treaty.” 
A moment. “He’s sincere?” 
“Yes. The Alliance is a league of peace. The United States would strengthen their ties to its members by joining.” 
“But the treaty is a collection of sovereigns’ autographs. It excludes republics.” 
“The Swiss cantons were invited and acceded.” 
“I thought the Alliance was hostile to the United States.” 
“The Alliance is hostile to anarchy.” 
“We’re not responsible for the French Revolution. The President and I interpret the Alliance as promoting the divine right of kings to rule over humanity. Our constitution is incompatible with such a view.” 
“Will you communicate his proposal to the President?” 
“Yes. Though two-thirds of the Senate must vote for our joining.” 
“I see,” he said. “Do you believe they will?” 
“That is unfortunate. The Emperor wishes for your country and for Britain to join.” 
“He invited Britain?” I asked. He nodded. “The same problem, King George can’t sign it without Parliament. I don’t grasp why the Alliance invites our countries. Britain has a monarchy but elects her legislature. The Alliance recently crushed republican efforts in Naples and the Piedmont. 
Why would we join such an entity?” 
“The Emperor is optimistic that Britain will join. It will be to the world’s benefit if London and Washington adhere to the Alliance’s influence. The treaty contains no specific points but sets an ideal for global peace.” 
“A peace built on despotism.” 
“You’ll communicate his proposal to the President?” 
“Yes. Is that all?” 
“No. We must discuss the South American war.” 
“Why? Last year’s armistice is stable and peace talks are ongoing. Royalist rebels harass the republics like gnats do elephants, but I expect the war to end by 1822.” 
“That cannot happen under current conditions. The continent’s revolution insults Europe’s monarchs and threatens her security. The guilty continent must return, through peaceful means or through arms, into the Alliance’s protection.” 
Lines so wide that Noah's animals could walk through them with not just their mate but their whole menagerie. “The Alliance wants to conquer South America?” 
“The Alliance will restore Spain’s dominion. South America will receive greater autonomy than it did previously and will have open trade with all nations.” A pause. “American independence caused the French Revolution. South American independence cannot bring a similar catastrophe to Europe.” 
“So your invitation to join the Alliance is meant to nullify objection to aggression toward this hemisphere?” 
“To cooperate for the good of the world. The Emperor is anxious that a general peace be built. Embers burn in Europe that must not flame again.” 
“Embers of men and women who yearn for freedom. His route toward peace involves destroying an entire hemisphere. You must know we’ll never agree to this and neither will Britain. 
She’s invested enormous resources into supporting the South American rebels.” 
“We have ways of persuading her.” 
“Why alert us to your intent?” 
“To reduce your government’s anxiety so it will not attempt to stop what it cannot.” 
“What cannot be stopped is the inevitable doom of Europe’s masters,” I said. “Its people have been taught to inquire why certain men possess enjoyment at their expense. Civil wars shall rage in Europe until the total ruin of feudal constitutions has been achieved.” 
“The Emperor bears no hostility toward the United States or their institutions. You know this because you worked with him as a minister. I’m saddened to learn you do not reciprocate his respect. He views South American independence as a coming apocalypse that threatens man’s connection to Christ through divine rulers. Your country will lose much and gain nothing by resisting what is necessary for a lasting peace. I pray your government takes his proposal seriously.” 
“I’ll confer what we’ve discussed to the President.” 
“Thank you.” 
I escorted him from my office and Maury led him out of the building. Then I returned to my desk and analyzed his words. I’d feared the Holy Alliance’s intentions for six years and finally its 
intervention was upon us. America had no choice but to resist and we had no hope of defeating Europe’s combined might. 

Grab your copy HERE!

M. B. Zucker 

M. B. Zucker has been interested in storytelling for as long as he can remember. He devoted himself to historical fiction at fifteen and earned his B.A. at Occidental College and his J.D. at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He lives in Virginia with his family. He is the author of three other novels. Among his honors is the Best Fictional Biography Award at the 2023 BookFest.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for hosting M. B. Zucker on your lovely blog today. Much appreciated.

    Take care,
    Cathie xx
    The Coffee Pot Book Club


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