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The March by E. L. Doctorow
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The March (original 2005; edition 2005)

by E. L. Doctorow

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2,173572,986 (3.65)279
Member:Ohevsefarim
Title:The March
Authors:E. L. Doctorow
Info:Random House (2005), Edition: First Edition first Printing, Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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The March by E. L. Doctorow (2005)

  1. 10
    My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both novels show the medical side of the war, from the surgeon's and nurses points of view, albeit that the view in Mary Sutter is much grittier.
  2. 10
    Shiloh by Shelby Foote (stretch)
  3. 00
    Unto This Hour by Tom Wicker (stretch)
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» See also 279 mentions

English (56)  Spanish (1)  All languages (57)
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
March from Atlanta to the Sea, Civil War ( )
  198therese | Aug 29, 2014 |
Entrancing fictional account of the march of Sherman's army from Georgia through South Carolina into North Carolina in the final months of the Civil War. We get to see the events through the eyes of several persons, ranging from a German-born Union Army surgeon, a 15 year old girl who's a freed slave but whose color (she was fathered by Massa) permits her to pass for white, a Confederate soldier who was freed from the his own army's stockade during Sherman's attack, a despicable Union general, Sherman himself, and others. ( )
  dickmanikowski | Jul 24, 2014 |
I love history, especially the Civil War. This is a fictional account of using actual historical events and people to create a realistic account of General Sherman's march through Georgia and the Carolinas at the end of the War Between the States.

I listened to the audio book which made the dialogue come alive between the actual and fictional characters as they lived and died during this tragic conflict. ( )
  mrluckey | Jun 17, 2014 |
The war is the protagonist. The story is told through the lives of the characters rather than the battle. Critic Circle Award and #1 National Book Award. ( )
  Kristelh | Nov 16, 2013 |
Shernan's March to the Sea -- this novel tries to portray its human side rather than its strategic importance to the Civil War. With civilization collapsing all around, a host of people, from slaves to civilians even to southern soldiers attach themselves to Sherman's Army. It's the only oasis of order and hope of survival. I liked the large number of characters that weave in and out of the story, with their varied backgrounds and motivations. Sometimes you can only roll your eyes at their assumptions, like, for example, they could keep their furniture and belongings safe by storing them in a Savannah warehouse. Sometimes you share their horror at the destructiveness of the war machines and the inadequacy of medical care. It's a vibrant, colorful depiction of war, without much of the romanticism we attach to the era. ( )
  TerriBooks | Oct 18, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
E. L. Doctorowprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Becker, Royce M.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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At five in the morning someone banging on the door and shouting, her husband, John, leaping out of bed, grabbing his rifle, and Roscoe at the same time roused from the backhouse, his bare feet pounding: Mattie hurriedly pulled on her robe, her mind prepared for the alarm of war, but the heart stricken that it would finally have come, and down the stairs she flew to see through the open door in the lamplight, at the steps of the portico, the two horses, steam rising from their flanks, their heads lifting, their eyes wild, the driver a young darkie with rounded shoulders, showing stolid patience even in this, and the woman standing in her carriage no but her aunt Letitia Pettibone of McDonough, her elderly face drawn in anguish, her hair a straggled mess, this woman of such fine grooming, this dowager who practically ruled the season in Atlanta standing up in the equipage like some hag of doom, which indeed she would prove to be.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812976150, Paperback)

As the Civil War was moving toward its inevitable conclusion, General William Tecumseh Sherman marched 60,000 Union troops through Georgia and the Carolinas, leaving a 60-mile-wide trail of death, destruction, looting, thievery and chaos. In The March, E.L. Doctorow has put his unique stamp on these events by staying close to historical fact, naming real people and places and then imagining the rest, as he did in Ragtime.

Recently, the Civil War has been the subject of novels by Howard Bahr, Michael Shaara, Charles Frazier, and Robert Hicks, to name a few. Its perennial appeal is due not only to the fact that it was fought on our own soil, but also that it captures perfectly our long-time and ongoing ambivalence about race. Doctorow examines this question extensively, chronicling the dislocation of both southern whites and Negroes as Sherman burned and destroyed all that they had ever known. Sherman is a well-drawn character, pictured as a crazy tactical genius pitted against his West Point counterparts. Doctorow creates a context for the march: "The brutal romance of war was still possible in the taking of spoils. Each town the army overran was a prize... There was something undeniably classical about it, for how else did the armies of Greece and Rome supply themselves?"

The characters depicted on the march are those people high and low, white and black, whose lives are forever changed by war: Pearl, the newly free daughter of a white plantation owner and one of his slaves, Colonel Sartorius, a competent, remote, almost robotic surgeon; several officers, both Union and Confederate; two soldiers, Arly and Will, who provide comic relief in the manner of Shakespeare's fools until, suddenly, their roles are not funny anymore.

Doctorow has captured the madness of war in his description of the condition of a dispossessed Southern white woman: "What was clear at this moment was that Mattie Jameson's mental state befitted the situation in which she found herself. The world at war had risen to her affliction and made it indistinguishable." And later, " This was not war as adventure, nor war for a solemn cause, it was war at its purest, a mindless mass rage severed from any cause, ideal, or moral principle."

As we have come to expect, Doctorow puts the reader in the picture; never more so than in recalling "The March" and letting us see it as a cautionary tale for our times. --Valerie Ryan

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:40 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's devastating march through Georgia and the Carolinas during the final years of the Civil War has a profound impact on the outcome of the war.

(summary from another edition)

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