- Sherman the Ruthless
- Victor Agoste Von Hassel ©2011 and Ed Breslin
- Thomas Nelson Publishers
- ISBN 978-1-54555-133-7 Ebook
These authors have written about the Civil War from the viewpoint of educated citizens and military and political leaders, instead of from ordinary people’s experiences like E.L. Doctorow’s portrayed in his novel “The March”.
Sherman truly was ruthless in his Civil War march through Georgia and South Carolina. This biography examines possible reasons for the general’s behavior, finding likely clues in his childhood, his education and his secular jobs.
Often controlling and demanding, Sherman could be charming and likeable. However, in addition to historical realities that hindered his successes, his general attitudes fostered his failures at banking and teaching.
This general always felt his only opportunity for fame lay in army life. He was promoted to military leadership under President Abraham Lincoln and because of his influential father-in-law whom he despised. But he wanted to succeed on his own, not from patronage by others.
Von Hassel and Breslin say General Sherman apparently was an early proponent of destroying everything in a countryside during the Civil War, whether necessary or not. The authors credit Sherman’s introduction of this type of warfare to its use in later conflicts around the world.
Comparing E.L. Doctorow’s novel “The March” with Sherman the Ruthless Victor confirms much of what Von Hassel and Breslin wrote about those four years in US history. Even a hundred and forty-six years later, Sherman is hated in the Southern USA.
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