In his critique of For Want of a Nail ..., Mexican historian Frank Dana writes that "It is a work marred by minor errors," and truer words were never written. This page serves as an errata slip for For Want of a Nail ..., noting and correcting errors made by author Robert Sobel.
Frontspiece: Map of North AmericaEdit
Maryland and Delaware are assigned to the Southern Confederation rather than the Northern, but the text indicates that the latter inherited them from the proposed Central Confederation. (Though the text also indicates on p.58 that Maryland is in the SC.) The text also indicates that the boundary between Northern Vandalia and Southern Vandalia is the 40th parallel of latitude, while the map has an irregular boundary.
Chapter 1: PreludeEdit
On p. 10, the date of the (pre-POD) Boston Tea Party is given as 15 December 1773 -- it was 16 December.
Chapter 2: The Rebellion BeginsEdit
On p. 23, the dates of the (pre-POD) signing and ratification of the Declaration of Independence are given as 2 July and 4 July 1776. The Declaration was actually ratified on 2 July and signed on 4 July.
Chapter 5: The Wilderness WalkEdit
On p. 49, Juan Vicente de Güemes, Count of Revillagigedo's name is given as Revillo Gigedo.
On p. 53, Samuel Johnston is mentioned as a former member of the Continental Congress. Johnston was not a member of the Congress during its existence from August 1774 to June 1778.
Chapter 6: The Trans-Oceanic WarEdit
On pp. 62-63, Juan Vicente de Güemes, Count of Revillagigedo's name is again given as Revillo Gigedo, and it is clear that Sobel believes this is his name rather than his title, since he refers to de Güemes several times as simply "Gigedo."
Chapter 8: The Crisis YearsEdit
On p. 84, footnote 18 gives 1935 as the publication date for Harnett's History of Slavery. The bibliography lists the publication date as 1930.
Chapter 9: The United States of MexicoEdit
On p. 94 the year of the Mexico City Convention is erroneously given as 1819, although the text makes it clear that it must have taken place in 1820.
Chapter 10: The Taking of the WestEdit
On p. 99, the phrase "Under Liberal leadership" should be "Under Libertarian leadership".
On pp. 106-107, President Andrew Jackson is said to have run unopposed for re-election in the 1827 Mexican elections. In fact, as noted earlier on p. 102, the Liberty Party nominated Governor Leslie Folger of Jefferson for president in 1827.
Chapter 12: The Rocky Mountain WarEdit
On p. 129, General Francisco Hernandez' name is given as Franco Hernandez.
On p. 130, Winfield Scott is described as directing CNA strategy in 1850, whereas on p. 131 we learn that he was replaced as Governor-General in the late spring of 1849. The list of Governors-General on page 407 confirms the 1849 date.
Chapter 13: The C.N.A.: The Corruption of ProgressEdit
On p. 149, John Rockefeller's Pennsylvania Petroleum company was founded in 1870, but on p. 163 the same company was founded in 1875. Rockefeller's company is called Consolidated Petroleum of North America on p. 143, but perhaps this trust grew out of the original Pennsylvania Petroleum.
Chapter 14: The People's CoalitionEdit
On p. 150, the date of Burgoyne Willkie's election as first Governor of Southern Vandalia is given as 1887. In fact, the election was held in 1877, following the separation of Northern and Southern Vandalia, as noted on p. 140. Willkie's re-election as Governor is likewise given as 1892 rather than 1882.
Chapter 16: The Kinkaid InterludeEdit
On p. 178, the vote total for President Omar Kinkaid in the table should be 3,570,883, but is given as 3,327,418 due to the votes from Durango being omitted.
On p. 181, it is stated that President George Vining named Senator Thomas Rogers as his Secretary of State. However, as noted on p. 207, Rogers remained the leader of the Liberty Party caucus in the Senate. It may be that Vining nominated Rogers, but that the Senate voted against his confirmation (presumably on Bernard Kramer's orders).
Chapter 19: The Crisis of Mexican RepublicanismEdit
On p. 208, Mexican President George Vining's name is given as Arthur Vining.
Chapter 20: The Mexican EmpireEdit
On p. 215, there is a reference to the border between Indiana and Mexico del Norte, which does not exist. Most likely the MdN border with Manitoba or Northern Vandalia is meant. Alaska is still Russian at this point.
On p. 216, Vicente Martinez' name is again given as Vincenzo Martinez.
On p. 218, Adolfo Camacho's meeting with the ambassador from Mexico should read ambassador from Spain.
Chapter 23: The Starkist TerrorEdit
On p. 256, Henderson Nelson is referred to as Clark Nelson.
Chapter 24: The Years of the PygmiesEdit
On p. 261, Diego Cortez' name is given as Pedro Cortez.
On p. 265, the year the N.F.A. was established is given as 1884. As noted on p. 191, it was actually 1880.
Chapter 26: A Time of DiffusionEdit
On p. 285, the date of the founding of the League for Brotherhood is given as April 14, 1920. It was actually May 14, 1920.
Chapter 30: The Fuentes-Jackson DuelEdit
Chapter 32: The Global WarEdit
On p. 350 the monarch of the Ottoman Empire is referred to several times as the Shah, which is actually the title of the Persian monarch. This may not be an error if it is meant to indicate a dynastic union of the Ottoman and Persian royal families that resulted in a united Ottoman-Persian Empire under a Persian monarch.
On p. 351 it is stated that the British and Arabs are defeated in a series of battles by German troops in Arabia. Actually, the Germans were allied with the Arabs; it was the British and Turks who were defeated by the Germans.
Chapter 35: The Mercator ReformsEdit
Chapter 36: The New DayEdit
On p. 382, Richard Mason is said to have become Governor-General in 1950 when he did not do so until 1953 according to Chapter 34 and to the table of GG's on page 407. The date of 30 November 1950 is given again immediately after, for the nationally vitavised speech where Mason introduced the phrase "New Day". Either Sobel got the date wrong twice, or the speech occurred before Mason was GG. Around 1950 (according to Chapter 34) he became the Liberal Party leader -- perhaps that is what was meant? But how, as opposition leader, could he have "doubled previous aid programs"? (The Mason article now has the speech as occurring in 1953.)
Chapter 37: The War Without WarEdit
On p. 391, the date of the signing of a non-aggression pact between the C.N.A. and Great Britain is given as April 1964. If this is meant to take place after the British atomic bomb test, then either the pact should take place in April 1965, or the bomb test should take place in February 1964.