This is the fiction autobiography of James Granville Corbin with alternating chapters told by his sidekick Billy Birdsong.
In this alternate timeline the US decides to do something about the national debt. They repudiate it. Constitutional amendments in the 1990’s repudiate the debt and forbid the federal government from borrowing or raising taxes. A terrorist nuke going off in Washington decapitate the government and allows congress under a powerful speaker of the house to seize power.
Corbin is an attorney from a wealthy family that makes a fortune in the recycling business. When the US decides to annex Mexico after its government collapses, Corbin forms his own division in the Gentlemen Volunteers; the privately formed army the US uses to seize Mexico. His division distinguishes itself and Corbin is elected to congress.
He eventually rises to one of the triumvirate that takes power after the old speaker retires. A dispute with his rival results in Corbin bringing his army across the Rio Grande and the start of the Second Civil War.
This book is clearly an attempt to insert the story of Julius Caesar into modern America. The author has to stretch history to get the desired result. It does result in a very bizarro world but a fascinating story.
The only problem I have with the book is that the main protagonist is well.. an asshole. It’s not real uplifting that the civil war is fought over two assholes in a dispute over insurance legislation. Yes his opponent is a bigger asshole but rooting for the lesser asshole is more like a presidential election then a satisfying story.
Even with its faults I found this a very interesting book and would still recommend it.
I also wonder if the T in the author’s name stands for Thomas. The guys parents had a weird sense of humor.