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The American Crusade by Mark Spivak - Book Tour + Giveaway

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The American Crusade
by Mark Spivak


GENRE:   Political Thriller



A power-hungry vice president, a bad batch of shady intelligence, and a sinister plot to destroy 
Western civilization.

Just another day in America.

On May 1, 2001, a group of radical Islamic terrorists crash a Boeing 737 jet airliner into the Mall of 
America—and Vice President Robert Hornsby knows his moment is coming. 

The attack kills three thousand American citizens and throws an entire nation into a panic, 
but all Hornsby sees is an opportunity, a chance to imprint his fanatical values on the soul of the 
country he loves and become the most powerful vice president in American history. 

With the aid of his affable but ineffectual president; the reluctant, conscience-stricken secretary of 
defense; and a preening, foppish faith leader with more than a few skeletons in his closet; Hornsby 
declares war on terror—and anyone who stands in his way. But as media scrutiny of the 
administration’s actions overseas intensifies, Hornby’s one-man campaign against evil begins to 
unravel—with striking parallels to the thirteenth century’s doomed Fourth Crusade—and sends the 
nation spiraling toward another deadly tragedy. 

The American Crusade paints a grim and often cynical picture of America’s recent past, 
reflecting the attitudes, politics, and fears that shaped our nation in the new millennium. 
By sampling the contemporaneous French text on the Fourth Crusade, On the Conquest of 
Constantinople, author Mark Spivak reminds us of that ever-vital adage: “Those who cannot remember 
the past are condemned to repeat it.” 

Fans of The Castle by Jack Pinter, The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson, 
House of Cards by Michael Dobbs, The Whistler by John Grisham, and the Aaron Sorkin–penned 
TV drama The West Wing will love this book.



The lights from the lanterns flickered against the walls of the cave. It was nearing midnight on May 1 in 
the tribal areas of Kabulistan, the mountainous and impenetrable regions high up near the 
Persepostan border. Salman Al-Akbar sat on a cushion, surrounded by his inner circle. 
Fazil Ahmadi, his director of operations, had just finished briefing him on the aftermath of the Mall 
of America attack and the subsequent suicide missions around the United States.

“Allah be praised!” Al-Akbar’s normally sad eyes were bright and jubilant. 
“We have succeeded beyond our wildest expectations, beyond the reach of our dreams. 
Allah is most with us.”

“This is so,” said Fazil Ahmadi. “Had we dreamed it, it could not have gone better.”

“What time is it now in Washington?”

“Four-thirty in the afternoon, sir.”

“And where is the young American President now?”

“We have no knowledge of his whereabouts, sir. He is in hiding.”

“Hiding?” Al-Akbar’s eyebrows arched toward the ceiling of the cave, and his normally expressionless 
face was close to registering hilarity. “From whom is he hiding? Robert Hornsby?”

“He has been removed from sight, sir. We suspect they took him to one of their nuclear installations.”

“Do they actually think we are in possession of nuclear weapons?”

“We believe it is a precaution on their part, sir.”

“Allah be praised!” Al-Akbar clapped his hands in glee. “This is beyond our imagining. 
Everything has gone off perfectly, with synchronized precision.”

“They will most certainly retaliate, sir.”

“Against whom?” asked Al-Akbar with contempt. “Our forces are safe. 
The loyalty of the warlords is secure, and they will not betray us.”                                                                                            
“We believe their most likely target will be the Dua Khamail. They will wage war against them and will 
surely defeat them. Then, they will restore Selim Hanjuk to power.”

“Let them have the Dua Khamail.” Al-Akbar shrugged. “To us, it matters not who is the ruler of 
Kabulistan. Any war they wage against the innocent population can only help us. It will bring more 
recruits to our side.”

“This is true.”

“One thing I will guarantee you. They may topple the government of Kabulistan, or all of the 
governments of the earth, but they will never be at peace again. As they fall off to sleep, 
they will see us in their nightmares.”

“Yes, sir. Our position is strong, and the Americans can only immerse themselves in quicksand by 
invading Kabulistan. They will never find us, much less defeat us.”

“Their memories are short,” mused Al-Akbar. “They forget that the Russians tried and failed. 
It was their Vietnam. And the Americans are far weaker than the Russians. They do not have the will 
for a prolonged conflict.”

“Let us not underestimate their military strength, sir.”

“These infidels are like the Crusaders of old.” Al-Akbar’s fingers worked prayer beads in the darkness 
of the cave. “They have many troops, they have excellent weapons, and they have knowledge of 
warfare. But they lack the fire of belief, as well as the support of their people. And they do not have 
Allah on their side.” He smiled approvingly at his lieutenant. “You have done well today. And soon we 
will do better still. Today is the beginning of the great Jihad. Nearly eight hundred years ago, 
the East was ruled by Saladin and the true believers were victorious. That day will come again.”


Guest Post

If you could transport yourself into the future, would it be different from the present? We’d like to think so, yet there are some ways in which the distant past is very similar to the present-day world in which we live. Students of history know that there are certain events that seem to replicate themselves over time: the names and historical contexts are different, but the outcomes are strangely the same.
One day, I was doing some reading about the Crusades, and was struck by the eerie resemblance between the Fourth Crusade and the invasion of Iraq. They weren’t just similar: they were virtually the same, down to some very small details. The Iraq invasion was the instant replay of the Fourth Crusade. This set my imagination on fire, and it led to my current novel titled The American Crusade.
The year is 2001. George Cane, the affable and ineffective nephew of former President Herbert Cane, is in the White House. The power behind the throne is Robert Barton Hornsby, vice president and former CIA director—a man once characterized by The New Yorker as “the spy who refused to come in from the cold.” Hornsby was initially selected to run as vice president on the Cane ticket to provide legitimacy and guidance to the young governor.
On May 1, a group of terrorists hijack a jetliner and fly it into the Mall of America. Later that day, no fewer than six suicide attacks are carried out around the country, bringing the death toll to 3,000. America is at war with an amorphous and unknown enemy. Robert Hornsby seizes control of the U.S. government, and will not let go.
In the novel, the Middle East was carved up after World War II into three super-states: Kabulistan, Sumeristan and Persepostan. Initial intelligence reports link the terrorists to the Kabulistan border, where they are operating in the mountains with assistance from local warlords. President Cane announces that the U.S. will invade Kabulistan, topple the government and destroy the terrorist network. Suddenly and inexplicably, however, he changes his mind and informs the country that the dictator of Sumeristan, Hussein Ghazi, is the true culprit.
Both the Democratic Congress and the media are skeptical of this about-face, since they feel that Cane is trying to vindicate his uncle, who also invaded Sumeristan but failed to get a successful long-term outcome. Their objections are drowned out by the wave of patriotism that follows the attacks, and the invasion goes forward. During the U.S. occupation that follows, the situation begins to unravel, and the country spirals downward toward a massive foreign policy failure.
The modern story of the Sumeristan invasion is interspersed with excerpts from an eyewitness account of the Fourth Crusade. As the story develops, the parallels between the two events become strikingly and eerily similar.
So: Does history repeat itself, or do we keep repeating it? Read The American Crusade  
and form your own conclusions.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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. 

Mark also has an endless fascination with the American political system and is an avid follower of 
Washington politics. His second novel, The American Crusade (a gripping political thriller set during 
the invasion of Iraq, which dips into the shadowy world of government conspiracy and political 
sabotage), will be released by TCK Publishing on April 4. He is currently at work on Impeachment, 
the sequel to The American Crusade.

Pre-order The American Crusade on Amazon:
Visit Mark's website at, and sign up for his free newsletter and political blog:



Mark Spivak will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner 
via rafflecopter during the tour.

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  1. Congrats on this tour and thank for the opportunity to read about another great book out there to read. It helps out so I can find books I know my family will enjoy reading. Thanks as well for the giveaway.

  2. Who is your favorite character in your book?

  3. I liked the excerpt, thank you.

  4. Sounds awesome, thanks for sharing the great post :)


Please try not to spam posts with the same comments over and over again. Authors like seeing thoughtful comments about their books, not the same old, "I like the cover" or "sounds good" comments. While that is nice, putting some real thought and effort in is appreciated. Thank you.