The Destructive War: William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson, and the Americans [NOOK Book]

Overview

From the moment the Civil War began, partisans on both sides were calling not just for victory but for extermination. And both sides found leaders who would oblige. In this vivid and fearfully persuasive book, Charles Royster looks at William Tecumseh Sherman and Stonewall Jackson, the men who came to embody the apocalyptic passions of North and South, and re-creates their characters, their strategies, and the feelings they inspired in their countrymen. At once an incisive dual biography, hypnotically engrossing ...
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The Destructive War: William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson, and the Americans

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Overview

From the moment the Civil War began, partisans on both sides were calling not just for victory but for extermination. And both sides found leaders who would oblige. In this vivid and fearfully persuasive book, Charles Royster looks at William Tecumseh Sherman and Stonewall Jackson, the men who came to embody the apocalyptic passions of North and South, and re-creates their characters, their strategies, and the feelings they inspired in their countrymen. At once an incisive dual biography, hypnotically engrossing military history, and a cautionary examination of the American penchant for patriotic bloodshed, The Destructive War is a work of enormous power.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From the moment the Civil War began, says the author in this fearfully vivid book, partisans on both sides were calling not just for conquest but for extermination. And both sides found leaders who would oblige--in the persons of Sherman for the North and Jackson for the South. Winner of the Bancroft Prize in American History. 16 pages of photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Royster captures the implacable ruthlessness of two opposing generals who shattered ethical restraints during the Civil War. Photos. Jan.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Bancroft, Parkman and Lincoln prize winner Royster (The Destructive War, etc.) shows several of our deservedly revered founding fathers as something else besides the brave defenders of liberty we met in our high school history books. Royster's portraits of George Washington, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and the two William Byrds show them as very human, sometimes conniving, often foolish and occasionally vulgar businessmen in the midst of an enterprise that, for them at least, ended in failure. Through diligent research, Royster, a professor of history at Louisiana State University, has excavated the tangled tale of a mercurial firm that proposed draining and developing the Dismal Swamp, a wide swath of bogs on the isolated Virginia-North Carolina border. In relating the story of the Dismal Swamp Company, Royster delivers brilliant character sketches and a remarkable window into Virginia society from colonial times to the Revolution and up through the 1830s, when remnants of the enterprise still lingered on, quite unprofitably. There are, of course, contemporary overtones: any tale of shrewd politicians making foolish mistakes in starry-eyed land speculation is bound to propel the word "Whitewater" into readers' minds. In sum, this is first-class work: an elegant, entertaining account of a little-known--and often ironically hilarious--slice of early American history. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
This complex but fascinating exploration of the impact William Tecumseh Sherman and Thomas ``Stonewall'' Jackson had on public thinking about the military conduct of the Civil War is drawn from an exhaustive study of contemporary letters, diaries, and publications. While this work ranges from detailed battle narratives to almost psychoanalytic studies of the two central characters, the author is at his best in showing how Sherman and Jackson personified the kind of war that both Northerners and Southerners came to believe was necessary to achieve victory. Royster's conclusions about the legacy of the Civil War are particularly noteworthy in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm. Recommended for college and university libraries.-- Lawrence E. Ellis, Broward Community Coll. Lib., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
From the Publisher
"Royster's intriguing analyses fill every page with new information and offer a fresh interpretation of our bloodiest conflict...exhaustively researched, artistically written, brilliantly argued."

-- Boston Globe

"Parts of The Destructive War are as good as anything written...during the last generation...a masterful narrative."

-- Washington Post Book World

"A fascinating history of the ideas held by the people who fought the war...fresh, intriguing, philosophical." -- Detroit Free Press

"An illuminating interpretation." -- Wall Street Journal

Winner of the Lincoln Prize

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307760593
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/14/2011
  • Series: Vintage Civil War Library
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 459,056
  • File size: 6 MB

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface

1. The Destruction of Columbia

2. The Aggressive War: Jackson

3. The Aggressive War: Sherman

4. The Anomalous War

5. The Death of Stonewall

6. The Vicarious War

7. The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain

8. The Destructive War
Part I: The Last Year
—Part II: The War and the Future of the Nation

9. The Grand Review

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