THE MISS STONE AFFAIR: AMERICA'S FIRST MODERN HOSTAGE CRISIS (Summer 2003) She was a plain-looking spinster, a missionary determined to do God's work in the political turmoil of turn-of-the-last-century Eastern Europe. It was only after she… Nonfiction
Book Review

THE MISS STONE AFFAIR: AMERICA'S FIRST MODERN HOSTAGE CRISIS (Summer 2003)

EW's GRADE
B-

Details Writer: Teresa Carpenter; Genre: Nonfiction

She was a plain-looking spinster, a missionary determined to do God's work in the political turmoil of turn-of-the-last-century Eastern Europe. It was only after she (along with a young Bulgarian mother) was abducted by a ragtag band of revolutionaries that Ellen Maria Stone became, in the words of one indignant cleric, ''one of the choicest representatives of American womanhood.'' Stone's six-month ordeal is a fascinating, intrigue-filled tale whose larger theme is the emergence of the U.S. from the wings of the world stage. But Carpenter's considerable reporting skills get the better of her: Sadly, it is the reader who, waylaid by extraneous details and political history, is ultimately held hostage.

Originally posted Jun 06, 2003 Published in issue #713 Jun 06, 2003 Order article reprints