"The overwhelming theory advanced in this novel is that the world is run by an international, apolitical cabal of bankers. According to the author's voice, the American Civil War was planned in London in 1857 in order to raise vast sums of money. This cabal of the "Elite" has no nationalistic prejudices, for they are loyal only to each other and to their banking interests.
"When Abraham Lincoln talked forgiveness for the South and threatened the extravagant hopes for plunder and profit from the vanquished land, he was eliminated. When Garfield showed sympathy for the plight of immigrant worker, he was eliminated. McKinley did not want a Spanish-American War (although his vice president did), and he too was eliminated." ~Captains and the Kings Study Guide
The review offered by this reader closely describes my own experience:
". . . this book has defined my experience with personal computers, the Internet, and Reality (tm) itself! After purchasing an Amiga 1000 almost twenty years ago, I found my way onto a BBS that featured FidoNet forums. I began reading and posting on the "Issues" board. One poster commented cryptically that "Taylor Caldwell's 'Captains and the Kings' exposes how the Council on Foreign Relations rules the world." I was driven (as if by an invisible hand) to the public library, seeking out Taylor Caldwell's book. I found a captivating, often dark story that gripped my interest in sinuous coils as its weaving, bobbing head rose up to mess with my memes. With her right hand, Caldwell uses her suburb writer's skill to dazzle and entertain, but the whole time, her Left hand is busy imparting knowledge and understanding of how things really work in this world. She administers her synergistic potion in just the right strength, proportion, and rhythm to assure that most of us who might never otherwise read about a "Conspiracy" lap this up like mother's milk. During the ensuing decades, I used the 'Net to verify what I'd read; and I learned a whole lot more."
My mom was one who had her finger on the pulse of the country at that time, and she could see what my youthful naivete could not. She mentored me through the years until several years ago when my research picked up where her's left off. With access to the internet, my knowledge has now surpassed my mother's. I am ambivalent about mentoring my children.