If the author wants a close look at "extremism" and "hate-mongering" he needs look no further than his own backyard: Alton, Illinois.

During Mr Lincoln's War thousands of Confederate POWs and Southern civilians died -- slow murder -- at the North Alton prison. They died due to inadequate food and water, lack of clothing and fuel, exposure to cold weather, overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, and the brutality of the guards. About 2,200 died in a smallpox epidemic in the Spring of 1863.

The physicians who visited North Alton -- to tend the guards, not the prisoners -- called the place an "extermination camp."

After the War, the prison was demolished and the stones were used in the foundations of many buildings in Alton; as a result, Alton has been called "the most haunted city in America" and it holds regular "ghost tours."