Freedom’s Cap: The United States Capital and the Coming of the Civil War

Written by Guy Gugliotta
Review by Wisteria Leigh

Freedom’s Cap is a remarkable historical narrative about the building of the nation’s capitol with a simultaneous counterpoint to the tearing down of the Union. Gugliotta outlines the political parties and their platforms with clear prose. As 1850 unfolds, the divisions that exist among the North and South are complex, yet Gugliotta crafts a unique package of history and intrigue that shows this writer’s artistry.

Personalities step out and breathe as he captures the political battles in Congress. The subterfuge among the three key men responsible for the magnificent building would make an ideal movie. Montgomery Meigs and Thomas Walter battled for credit and control. Until Jefferson Davis left Washington to lead the Confederacy, he was the most steadfast supporter of the project. It was an ongoing battle of wills and wit that encompassed many years. My one complaint is that readers may be misled by its title. Freedom’s Cap is a page-turner, despite its lackluster title. Gugliotta has blown the dust off American Civil War history shelves to make room for his exceptional addition.