Quantrill's War: The Life & Times Of William Clarke Quantrill, 1837-1865

Overview

The definitive biography of Civil War legend William Clarke Quantrill—serial killer, psychopath, celebrated hero of the Confederate army. A riveting story of murder and revenge, Quantrill's War is a thoroughly researched and richly drawn study of the most unlikely hero in our nation's history.

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Overview

The definitive biography of Civil War legend William Clarke Quantrill—serial killer, psychopath, celebrated hero of the Confederate army. A riveting story of murder and revenge, Quantrill's War is a thoroughly researched and richly drawn study of the most unlikely hero in our nation's history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Quantrill's War emerges as a salute to turn-of-the-century conventional wisdom and psycho-historical analysis." —The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"Schultz extends his catalog of richly detailed, well-written histories with this life of Quantrill, who emerges less as a psychopath than as a soldier bent on bringing total destruction to his enemy." --Kirkus Reviews

"Schultz retells Quantrill's life with dramatic flourish—his re-creation of the Lawrence, Kansas, massacre and of the pursuit of Quantrill by scattered Union forces is particularly exciting. Readers interested in the dark side of the Civil War will find much to ponder."

--Publishers Weekly

Kirkus Reviews
A vivid account of the life and times of a Confederate guerrilla.

The second life of Quantrill to appear this season (the other being Edward E. Leslie's The Devil Knows How to Ride, p. TKTK), Schultz's is distinguished by the author's determination to show that Quantrill, the bloody ruffian who savaged the Kansas frontier, took part in the Civil War to suit his own agenda. "He was a cold-blooded killer," writes Schultz (Over the Earth I Come, 1992, etc.), "gunning down Union soldiers and civilians, showing no mercy or remorse . . . waging his personal war under the protection of the Confederate flag. It was a war against the world, driven by hatred and a desire to avenge himself against everyone he imagined had maligned him." Schultz, however, does not plunge deeply into psychobiography, apart from noting that as a youth Quantrill seemed to show a marked, ingenious cruelty toward animals. Instead, the author unfolds a shoot-'em-up narrative long on action and short on speculative analysis, one of the virtues of which is to show that some of the men Quantrill hated most (including Missouri's senator Jim Lane, who championed the Union only because it offered more lucrative possibilities and seemed likeliest to win) were no prizes themselves. Schultz is especially good on examining the internal divisions within Quantrill's mixed group of soldiers and on the power struggles to which these divisions led, especially toward the end of the war, when the guerrillas began one by one to abandon their leader, some because "they were appalled and ashamed at what they had done at Lawrence, gunning down unarmed men and boys, terrorizing women and children, looting and destroying homes," others simply because they knew that defeat lay near.

Schultz extends his catalog of richly detailed, well-written histories with this life of Quantrill, who emerges less as a psychopath than as a soldier bent on bringing total destruction to his enemy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312169725
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1997
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 725,131
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Duane Schultz is the author of two novels and eight nonfiction histories, including Over The Earth I Come (a 1992 New York Times Notable Book of the Year). He is an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of South Florida, and lives in Clearwater, Florida.

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