Born and raised in the Twin Cities, Scott W. Berg holds a BA in architecture from the University of Minnesota, an MA from Miami University of Ohio, and an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University, where he now teaches writing and literature. The author of "Grand Avenues: The Story of Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the French Visionary Who Designed Washington, D.C., " he is a regular contributor to "The Washington Post."
"Kirkus Reviews "has named "38 Nooses" a Best Nonfiction Book of 2012. "Berg positions the book with the perfect focal length, tight enough to include fascinating and fleshed-out characters such as Little Crow, a skillful leader cursed with the gift of foresight, the captive-turned-supporter of the Indians Sarah Wakefield, and Lincoln himself, but also wide enough to capture the moral arc of the entire nation."--"The Daily Beast," "Hot Reads" "Impressive. . . . Alongside his portrait of Lincoln, Berg makes vivid his other protagonists. . . It is Little Crow who, from the opening pages, stand tallest in the reader's mind."--"USA Today""Scott W. Berg reminds us in his splendid new book . . . that the Civil War was only part of the nation's crises in that era. . . . Berg does a remarkable job with the story and its aftermath, drawing on memoirs, contemporary reports and presidential papers to re-create--and offer an easy road map through--a complicated narrative."--Scott Martelle (author of "Detroit: A Biography")," Los Angeles Times""Superb. . . . "38 Nooses "is an imposing work, a moving story of an event enveloped within the most calamitous four years in American annals, and a book proving that obscure does not translate to unimportant when applied to events in history."--"Dallas Morning News" "Engrossing. . . . Berg's finely grained portraits of the protagonists and antagonists humanize the conflict."--"Minneapolis Star-Tribune" "Although Berg's sympathies are clearly with the Dakota, he avoids preaching and strives successfully to present a balanced narrative of the conflict while providing excellent portrayals of some of the key participants. This is a valuable but understandably depressing account of an obscure but important episode in our history."--"Booklist " "This fascinating book examines the opening salvo in the U.S. conquest of the Great Plains and is highly recommended for all readers." --"Library Journal" "A gripping narrative of this little-known conflict and a careful exploration of the relationships between events of the Civil War and America's expansion west . . . Although the reader knows the eventual outcome of these battles--near extermination of Indian tribes and cultures--Berg maintains suspense about individual fates to round out this nuanced study of a complex period."--"Publishers Weekly" (starred review) "While Union and Confederate armies clashed at Bull Run and Antietam, another epochal--but largely forgotten--American struggle was being fought a thousand miles to the northwest. In vivid, often lyrical prose, Scott Berg tells a story of courage and ruthlessness, mercy and retribution."--Adam Goodheart, best-selling author of "1861" "Berg's . . . accomplishment is his ability to overlap the little-known Dakota War with its far better known counterpart, the American Civil War. The author's juxtaposition offers readers a contextual framework that provides unique insight into the era . . . A captivating tale of an oft-overlooked, morally ambiguous moment in American history."--"Kirkus Reviews" (starred review) ""38 Nooses" vividly shows the pressures facing Dakota Indians in 1862, the pent-up conflicts between white settlers and Native people in the Upper Midwest, and the stretched resources and flawed judgments of local and federal officials during the Civil War years. In spellbinding fashion, Scott W. Berg tells a previously neglected story with tragic historical reverberations."--Jack El-Hai, author of "Lost Minnesota: Stories of Vanished Places" ""38 Nooses" shines new light on a little known and tragic chapter in American history. Thoroughly researched, richly detailed, this compelling narrative gives 'The Battle Hymn of Freedom' a new and ironic connotation. You will never think of the events of 1862-63 and Lincoln's leadership in quite the same way again."--Robert Morgan, author of "Lions of the West"