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james

Montrose, CO, United States | Member Since 2008

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  • The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War 

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Donald Stoker
    • Narrated By Thomas Dunn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Despite the abundance of books on the Civil War, not one has focused exclusively on what was in fact the determining factor in the outcome of the conflict: differences in union and southern strategy. In The Grand Design, Stoker examines how Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis identified their political goals and worked with their generals to craft the military means to achieve them - or how they often failed to do so.

    Glynn says: "Shoddy"
    "The Professor Holds Forth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Only if he or she really wants to get into thinking about grand strategy in the civil war


    Have you listened to any of Thomas Dunn’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Could you see The Grand Design being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    This book is what you would reasonably expect to come from a professorial academic who has some very firm ideas on how the Civil War was won (and lost). Basically, it appears that the South was doomed to failure by its political hubris and stupidity from the git go, a pattern of behavior epitomized by the titular head of the new nation with no practical view of the big picture - Jefferson Davis. Meanwhile, Abraham Lincoln was having some minor fumbling and bumbling at the beginning, but he was a naturally wise and intuitive guy who knew there needed to be a grand design for winning the war, and was simply delayed a few years while he found the right players to implement his vision. Well read and entertaining enough for those already well immersed in minutiae on the War, it is still ultimately a lengthy academic lecture which espouses one man's opinion, but really breaks no new ground. The particular value of this work is one of stimulating alternative opinions on the truly grand "strategic" aspects of the War. In truth, Mr. Stoker's working premise that the North developed a meaningful strategic plan to achieve victory and the South never did may not only be the obvious first answer, but the last as well.

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