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OP-ED Book Review: Mark Spivak’s...

OP-ED Book Review: Mark Spivak’s book “The American Crusade”

By: Sarah Ulmer - June 7, 2019

Non-fiction award winning author Mark Spivak released his newest book in May of 2019, entitled, The American Crusade: A Political Thriller.

The book focuses on an almost alternate reality America in which several powers-at-be put their own interests above those of the entire American people. The story begins on May 1, 2001 after Islamic terrorists crash a Boeing 737 into the Mall of America, sound familiar? In Spivak’s story, the Vice President, Robert Hornsby, sees an opportunity to advance his agenda in the face of tragedy.

While the event is obviously devastating to the American people, Hornsby is only out for himself and his attempt to gain more and more power. He also hopes that his ideals on the “western way of life” be adopted moving forward. The Vice President doesn’t care who he crushes, including the President and several other inspirational characters that he seems to fool over and over.

However, as the story unfolds his plan crumbles. Throughout the book, Spivak uses parallels to the thirteenth century’s story of the Fourth Crusade.

It seems Spivak’s motive with this story is to bring to light the current downward spiral being experienced by the envisioned America due to politics, a search for power and fear of what is different. Matched with the story of the Fourth Crusade, On the Conquest of Constantinople the stories show that the circumstances and outcome may not be so different.

The book is a thriller for any political buff or history enthusiast bringing elements of the past and present together.


In the realm of non-fiction, award-winning author Mark Spivak focuses on wine, spirits, food, restaurants and culinary travel. His first book, Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History, was published by Lyons Press in 2012. He followed this with Moonshine Nation (Lyons Press, 2014), hailed as the definitive book on illegal corn whiskey in America. From 1994-1999 he was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post, and was honored for excellence in wine criticism “in a graceful and approachable style.” Since 2001 he has been the Wine & Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group, and contributes to a number of national magazines. He is also the holder of the Certificate and Advanced Diplomas from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Mark’s first novel, Friend of the Devil, was published by Black Opal Books in May 2016. Set in Palm Beach in 1990, it tells the story of America’s most famous chef, who has sold his soul to the Devil for fame and fortune. His second novel, The American Crusade (a political thriller set during the invasion of Iraq), will be released by TCK Publishing this spring. He is currently at work on Impeachment, the sequel to The American Crusade.

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah:
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