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Sherman: A Soldier's Passion for Order cover
  • ISBN: 9780029201350
  • ISBN10: 0029201357

Sherman: A Soldier's Passion for Order

by Marszalek, John F.

  • List Price: $40.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publish date: 02/01/2008
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Among the towering figures of the Civil War, none is more enigmatic than General William Tecumseh Sherman. Widely denounced as fiendishly destructive and even insane for his infamous March to the Sea across Georgia, Sherman was a brilliant commander and strategist who helped bring the bloody war to a swifter and surer end. Yet he left a legacy of "total war" against unarmed civilians and their property which has haunted military leaders and all Americans up to the present day. Now, in this definitive biography, the nature and motives of this legendary and controversial military genius are at last explored. Delving into the complex personality of the gruff and charismatic general, Marszalek explores Sherman's life as a series of struggles for order. A rootless childhood, shaped by his father's early death and the ensuing separation from his mother, compelled Sherman to fight instability with a passion bred of personal loss and uncertainty. Even the hallmarks of democracy - a free press and unfettered public opinion - he considered troublesome obstacles to his efficient military pursuits. Convinced of the necessity of preserving the complete union of all states, he fought the "anarchic" Confederate secession despite his love for the South, where he had lived. His crusade for control carried over to his personal life, where he balked at what he considered the vaguely defined role of husband and father. He rarely resided with his wife, feeling most comfortable when his position was established by official rank, in the company of his troops or as a public luminary adored by the great political and artistic figures of his time. Marszalek's full-scale biography richly captures not only theCivil War, but the entire extraordinary life of this man who attended West Point, fought in the Indian Wars, experienced the Gold Rush in San Francisco, was involved in the construction of the transcontinental railroad, worked as a banker, teacher, and public speaker, and turned away repeated calls that he run for President. From his birth in Ohio in 1820 to his death in New York in 1891, Sherman's tumultuous life spans the sweeping transformations of the nineteenth century.
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