The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta

The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta

4.0 2
by Marc Wortman
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The Bonfire is the epic story of the besieged city and its townspeople, and of how Atlanta came to be the key to the South. The most terrible city siege in American history took place in Atlanta in 1864.

Nothing was quite what it seemed in Civil War Atlanta: Sherman, who made Georgia howl, was as unreconstructed a racist at the end of the war as at the

…  See more details below

Overview

The Bonfire is the epic story of the besieged city and its townspeople, and of how Atlanta came to be the key to the South. The most terrible city siege in American history took place in Atlanta in 1864.

Nothing was quite what it seemed in Civil War Atlanta: Sherman, who made Georgia howl, was as unreconstructed a racist at the end of the war as at the beginning; Union troops and Confederate forces laughed and sang together from opposite ends of the Chattahoochee River before slaughtering each other in the hellacious final conflict; Atlanta's Mayor Calhoun remained a staunch believer in the Union despite waging war against it; and a handful of slaves-like Bob Yancey, who surrendered the city to Sherman's forces alongside the town's leading citizens-exited the war freed of slavery's yoke, and among the wealthiest citizens of a devastated city that would become the engine of the New South. With the compelling, interwoven, and often surprising life stories of a colorful cast of characters, Marc Wortman recreates the age, city, and siege where the Confederacy met its destiny.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom
“Next to Richmond, Atlanta was the most important Confederate city by 1864. Its fall in September of that year signaled the beginning of the end for the Confederacy. Among the many books about General William T. Sherman's Atlanta campaign, The Bonfire stands out for its focus on the experience of Atlantans themselves. Marc Wortman's vivid narrative proves that war is indeed hell.”

Debby Applegate, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher
The Bonfire is a tour de force of American Civil War history, with everything a reader could want: Extraordinary original research, vivid prose and old-fashioned suspense.”

Booklist
“Wortman’s very absorbing account of the Battle of Atlanta draws on the perspectives of individuals on both sides of the conflict and includes the story of the growth of Atlanta from a railroad junction in the late 1830s to a village in the ‘40s to a major metropolis by the time of the Civil War. That story is fascinating…. Atlanta was awash with contradictions.”

Philip Lee Williams, Michael Shaara Prize-winning author of The Campfire Boys
“Prepare to luxuriate in gorgeous prose, first-rate scholarship, and to discover page by page why Atlanta became the city it is today…. This is one of the most important Civil War books in years. It certainly is a book that anyone who wants to understand the war or current-day Georgia or Atlanta simply must own.”

Washington City Paper
“A chilling narrative.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“From the lurid flames of Gone with the Wind to the phoenix on the city seal, the fiery destruction of Atlanta during the Civil War occupies a central place in the city's mythology. In The Bonfire, Marc Wortman goes beyond the legend to reveal a history that is more complicated, but no less dramatic, than anything that came from Margaret Mitchell’s pen. [It] is a tale of divided loyalties, political intrigue and tremendous human suffering. Wortman’s real talent lies in portraying the life of the city and its residents. His ability to create a deft, rich picture of Atlanta during this tumultuous period is what makes The Bonfire both invaluable history and a gripping read.”

Winston Groom, Wall Street Journal
“An admirable account of the circumstances leading to the fall of the city.”

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781586488192
Publisher:
PublicAffairs
Publication date:
06/01/2010
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
919,928
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author


Marc Wortman is an award-winning freelance journalist and independent scholar. His articles and essays have appeared in many national magazines. He is the author of The Millionaires’ Unit: The Aristocratic Flyboys Who Fought the Great War and Invented American Air Power.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This work is outstanding in it's presentation of the thoughts, fears and anxieties of the inhabitants of Atlanta as Gen Sherman and three Union armies virtually surrounded the city and preceeded to pummel it with shot and shell. While touching on the highlights of the battle scenes, starting with Johnston's continous retreating finally leading to his replacement by Hood, the emphasis is placed on the biographical accounts of a good variety of individuals, some who came from the North to make it rich and some whose southern blood boiled at the mere mention of the Union General's name. The internal conflict of Mayor Calhoun, who was not a secessionist but was wholeheartedly for the Confederacy's right of existence, is adeptly portrayed as he tries to balance his adherence to moral and ethical principles with the contemptuous and sometimes malicious attitudes of the authorities who seemed to know no boundries when acertaining what was required for the sucess of the southern cause. The early beginnings of Atlanta are broadly described as well as it's tranformation into one of the most commercially important cities in the south. Overall this book was a captivating read and difficult to put down until the last page was finished.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago