Fierce Patriot

Fierce Patriot

The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman

Book - 2014 | First Edition.
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William Tecumseh Sherman was more than just one of our greatest generals. Fierce Patriot is a bold, revisionist portrait of how this iconic and enigmatic figure exerted an outsize impact on the American landscape--and the American character.
America's first "celebrity" general, William Tecumseh Sherman was a man of many faces. Some were exalted in the public eye, others known only to his intimates. In this bold, revisionist portrait, Robert L. O'Connell captures the man in full for the first time. From his early exploits in Florida, through his brilliant but tempestuous generalship during the Civil War, to his postwar career as a key player in the building of the transcontinental railroad, Sherman was, as O'Connell puts it, the "human embodiment of Manifest Destiny." Here is Sherman the military strategist, a master of logistics with an uncanny grasp of terrain and brilliant sense of timing. Then there is "Uncle Billy," Sherman's public persona, a charismatic hero to his troops and quotable catnip to the newspaper writers of his day. Here, too, is the private Sherman, whose appetite for women, parties, and the high life of the New York theater complicated his already turbulent marriage. Warrior, family man, American icon, William Tecumseh Sherman has finally found a biographer worthy of his protean gifts. A masterful character study whose myriad insights are leavened with its author's trademark wit, Fierce Patriot will stand as the essential book on Sherman for decades to come.

Praise for Fierce Patriot
"A superb examination of the many facets of the iconic Union general." --General David Petraeus
"Sherman's standing in American history is formidable. . . . It is hard to imagine any other biography capturing it all in such a concise and enlightening fashion." -- National Review
"A sharply drawn and propulsive march through the tortured psyche of the man." -- The Wall Street Journal
"[O'Connell's] narrative of the March to the Sea is perhaps the best I have ever read." --Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
"A surprising, clever, wise, and powerful book." --Evan Thomas, author of Ike's Bluff
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2014]
Edition: First Edition.
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781400069729
Branch Call Number: 973.7092 SHERM-O
Characteristics: xxi, 404 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.


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Dec 10, 2017

Fantastic book on Sherman...highly recommend. If you want to understand this man, read this book. The book disappoints in details of battles...I think the taking of Savannah is mentioned in 2 sentences, Atlanta...a very little bit more.

I suggest to read Part III...The Man and His Families, first. To me, learning about how he grew up helps explain his relationship with his wife, father-in-law/foster dad and birth/foster siblings.

I just recently started learning about the Civil War and have read more than a few books.

Before reading this, my #1 question to a Civil War Scholar would have been: since General McClellan didn’t want to fight, and Sherman did, why didn’t Lincoln fire McClellan and replace him with Sherman? I now know the answer.

Sep 22, 2014

An excellent biography on a truly amazing individual. Obviously an individual of amazing strengths and talents but also a person with deep flaws.

While eventually being one of the key reasons the union army was ultimately successful, Sherman failed to show any significant successes initially in business or militarily. Indeed after his first major command [which he was given despite his request that he never be so assigned] he suffered a mental breakdown and had to be relieved of command.

His views on race relations were archaic even for his times. He treated natives and people of colour in ways that were completely unacceptable and unnecessary. Yet he also was respectful towards members of those races and tended to have good relations with individuals with whom he dealt.

There seems no doubt that he had an unabiding love for his wife [who was also his step-sister with whom he lived from the age of 9] but their marriage consisted mainly of long periods of separation [although they did have 8 children].

I would strongly recommend the book.

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