The March Author:E. L. Doctorow In 1864, after Union general William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta, he marched his sixty thousand troops east through Georgia to the sea, and then up into the Carolinas. The army fought off Confederate forces and lived off the land, pillaging the Southern plantations, taking cattle and crops for their own, demolishing cities, and accumulating ... more »a borne-along population of freed blacks and white refugees until all that remained was the dangerous transient life of the uprooted, the dispossessed, and the triumphant. Only a master novelist could so powerfully and compassionately render the lives of those who marched.
The author of Ragtime, City of God, and The Book of Daniel has given us a magisterial work with an enormous cast of unforgettable characters: white and black, men, women, and children, unionists and rebels, generals and privates, freed slaves and slave owners. At the center is General Sherman himself; a beautiful freed slave girl named Pearl; a Union regimental surgeon, Colonel Sartorius; Emily Thompson, the dispossessed daughter of a Southern judge; and Arly and Will, two misfit soldiers.
Almost hypnotic in its narrative drive, The March stunningly renders the countless lives swept up in the violence of a country at war with itself. The great march in E. L. Doctorow's hands becomes something more: a floating world, a nomadic consciousness, and an unforgettable reading experience with awesome relevance to our own times.« less
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This is the first of Doctorow's books I've read. I understand he specializes in bringing order out of chaos. He did a very good job of painting a verbal picture ofthe miasmic horde marching through the south.
Pure Doctorow using characters to hold one's interest as he incorporates them in a historical event which melds together into a well written book holding the interest of even those not historically oriented. I was particularly interested in the Georgia part of Sherman's march and found enough info to say well done. I can and have recommend it to others.
Very authentically written for what could best be described as speculative fiction. Doctorow really captures what I perceive to be the ambience of the losing South as General Sherman plowed his way through it to break the spirit of the Southern citizens. Incidentally, Sherman is not cast as an evil man at all. Instead he's depicted as a military strategist doing a necessary evil.