A Life of William Tecumseh Sherman
Some men panic in the face of war, others embrace its horrific challenges. But none embraced war as ferociously or with as much cold calculation as William Tecumseh Sherman. It was Sherman who both articulated and practiced the relentless scorched-earth policy that broke the heart of the Confederacy. Sherman succeeded in large measure because, better than any other Union general, he fully grasped the essence of psychological warfare and could enact his own deep-rooted rage with ruthless clarity.
This biography is much broader than an analysis of Sherman's wartime genius, however. Michael Fellman seeks to illuminate the emotional as well as the intellectual, ideological, and occupational lives of this extraordinary, but at the same time representative, Victorian American.
“Boldly argued and gracefully written.”
—New York Times Book Review
“As gripping and original a life story as has yet been produced on William T. Sherman. The definitive modern study of the Civil War's most feared fighter.”
—Chicago TribuneSee all reviews...
“A penetrating study of one of the most engimatic and controversial figures in American history.”
“Somehow, the key to the Sherman riddle has until now eluded biographers. It was almost as if historians dreaded the prospect of probing the roots of what flowered as wholesale devastation. Now Michael Fellman, whose best-known previous book offered the finest history yet written on Civil War guerrilla fighting in the border state of Missouri, has offered as gripping and original a life story as has yet been produced on William T. Sherman. It is a most compelling book—part psychobiography, part analysis of modern war, part military history—and all of it original and gripping. Convincingly argued and elegantly written, it takes its place as the definitive modern study of the Civil War's most feared fighter.”
—Harold Holzer in the Chicago Tribune
“There appears to be nothing written by or to Sherman that Fellman hasn't read and analyzed, no scrap of existing evidence that he hasn't looked at. He makes a persuasive case and he does it in a fascinating and readable way. The inner Sherman that emerges isn't necessarily a man you would invite home for dinner, although he would doubtless be charming and endlessly interesting. Here is a famous and furious man, brilliant, insightful, garrulous, complicated, tightly wound, energetic, aggressive, salty, angry and racist. Here is a man who is grudge-bearing, yet often kind; insecure, yet positive about what the war was about, how to win it, and how it would end. . . . If you want to see laid bare in detail the inner workings that drove this controversial icon to such heights, this is the book for you.”
—Joseph C. Waugh in the Washington Post Book World
“A penetrating study of the psychological makeup of a brilliant, troubled, and troubling man. . . . one of the most enigmatic and controversial figures in American history.”
—William S. McFeely in the Boston Globe
“A vivid portrait of a fiery personality and a troubled, sometimes dark soul. Lively, compelling, and provocative, it will stir controversy. It speaks with loud assurance where others might tread cautiously. It raises the sort of questions about war-making that military historians should ask more often. Those people who pick it up to read about one of the most charismatic figures in American history will also learn something about the nation that celebrated his accomplishments.”
—Brooks Simpson in the Journal of American History
“Sherman incarnates the dark side of our history, and this revealing book is a triumph of research, understanding, and style.”
—Richard Marius in Civilization
“A vivid portrait of perhaps the most savage warrior of the Civil War period.”
—David M. Shribman in the Wall Street JournalSee fewer reviews...