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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.


To President George Cane, the assembled group represented “the full force and moral authority of the United States of America.”

To the Reverend Sanford J. Bayer, head of the White House Office of Faith and Reconciliation (known internally as the Woofers), they symbolized “the lawful arm of God’s righteous Kingdom … preparing to strike at the heart of our enemy.”
To Salman Al-Akbar, leader of the worldwide terrorist organization Husam al Din and the reason the dignitaries were gathered at this press conference, they were “the cancerous core of modern civilization, bleeding like an ulcer that must be removed.”
They included the heads of both houses of Congress, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Directors of the FBI and CIA, most of the Cabinet, and the Chief Justice of the United States.
And to the Vice President, who had assembled this improbable group, they were the usual suspects.

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:
Hello and welcome to my blog! Can you tell me a little about yourself, and how you became an author?

I always wanted to be a writer, and I began writing fiction when I was about eleven years old. I got a degree in literature, became a professional journalist and did a lot of other things along the way, but I always came back to it. I currently mentor beginning writers, and I tell them that writing is like a terminal disease: once you get it, you may experience periods of remission, but it will always come back—so you might as well go ahead and get the work done.

What is your book about?

The American Crusade is a political thriller set during the invasion of Iraq, with flashbacks to the Fourth Crusade. I was doing some reading on the Crusades, for some reason, and it suddenly hit me that the Iraq invasion was the instant replay of the Fourth Crusade. The resemblance is eerie. The book is really a meditation on the follies of history, and asks the question: does history repeat itself, or are we the ones who are constantly repeating it? If so, why?

Who is your hero? Is he based on someone in real life?

Much of the story is told through the eyes of Robert Barton Hornsby, the vice president and former CIA director. He’s really an anti-hero. Because the present-day setting of the book closely resembles the Bush 43 administration, the temptation is to see him as Dick Cheney, but he’s really an amalgam of many powerful people I observed in Washington.

What are your favorite times for writing? Morning? Evening?

I’m up very early, around 4 or 4:30, and that’s when I get my best work done. I still do a lot of journalism, so the emails and other interruptions begin around 9 or 10. I write intermittently throughout the day, with breaks for exercise, grocery shopping, etc,

Who are your favorite authors? Did they influence your writing, and if so, how?

I don’t read much current fiction, because I don’t want those influences to show up in my work. So my list of favorites is confined to the classics: Joyce, Melville, Hemingway, plus more contemporary writers such as Jorge Luis Borges, Samuel Beckett, Nabokov and Kurt Vonnegut. I’m sure they’ll all left their imprint on me in some way.

Did you have a favorite book as a child? Did it influence your choice to become an author?

I think the first “real” book I read (as opposed to a children’s book) was Treasure Island. I was a big Hemingway fan as a teenager, and still am. What fascinated me—then and now—was the ability to create an alternative universe, a fantasy world that was real, and have the chance to arrange and order that world the way you wanted to. The real world is grimmer now than it was then, so I think that ability is even more important.
Thank you for answering my questions, your book sounds fascinating!