"Mercy" is a short biography of ASPCA founder Henry Bergh, aimed at the mid-grade set. Because it deals with animal cruelty, it is not always an easy or pleasant read.
Nevertheless, it paints a picture of the times in which Bergh lived and how unusual it was for anyone in his high social position to speak up on behalf of animals.
The book also contains some informative sidebars about contemporary historical figures like P.T. Barnum and Louisa May Alcott, as well as things like the history of political cartoons and circuses.
The watercolor illustrations are appropriate for a book aimed at younger readers, and there are also some excellent historical photographs included to show the basis for the interior paintings.
Nicely done, and a good introduction to the historical importance of the anti-cruelty movement.
I'm about a quarter of the way into this book, and while I'm learning a lot about Aaron Burr, I'm increasingly put off by Isenberg's interpretation, which seems to me to be excessively forgiving of her subject. Are we really to believe that ALL of Burr's faults are little more than scurrilous attacks and historical misinterpretation? A few admissions of flaws would go a long way towards accepting her revisionist interpretation.