General William Tecumseh Sherman has come down to us as the implacable destroyer of the Civil War, notorious for his burning of Atlanta and his brutal march to the sea. A probing biography that explains Sherman's style of warfare and the threads of self-possession and insecurity that made up his character.
©1993 John F. Marszalek (P)2013 Redwood Audiobooks
"John Marszalek's no-nonsense biography covers all the bases." (Washington Post Book World)
"A thoughtful and generally sympathetic biography of one of the Civil War's most controversial commanders." (USA Today)
Yes: Kevin Minatrea does an outstanding job of evoking the personality of Sherman and other characters in the biography.
His dialects are wonderful and he brings an actor's sense of personality and character to the words of the text.
I can't say I would listen to this book again. The content is well arranged and the story told is good, although the initial moves to best characterize the debate between Northern and Southern opinions is rather simplistic. I live in South Carolina and when approached about an opinion on Sherman it is easy to see him as a war criminal by today's standards and unethical by his own standards.
Going into the reading with a biased perspective you get the opportunity to understand Sherman as a man. The book covers his religious views, family life, loss, gains, and carries you all the way up to the ending (he dies... hope I am not giving anything away).
Much of my frustration with this material is that you get a perspective that he is one of our own when many of us consider him as an invader. His burning of Columbia is met with the same comments we hear everyday, but truthfully we see a person that had no issues with disrupting the organizations that develop fundamental changes to a society. That is, churches and schools.
In presentation the story is good. I disliked some of the more questionable details getting left to the end. Some periods are glossed over, but it would be difficult to find someone that in South Carolina welcome Sherman to dinner as the text seems to imply.
The narrator seems to have variations in volume and tone, which I believe is due to rerecording sections. I could swear I heard a telephone ring in the background of the audio, but you would only notice it with the volume at an extremely high level.
The only issue I have otherwise is that all of the characters seem to have a similar voice. Sherman's voice is okay, but often it sounds like he is talking to himself.
I can't say anyone can listen to something so long in one sitting...
I know the first review and make or break a book. I honestly enjoyed this book and would recommend it. It is not the best, but it is more than enough to keep you entertained and presented well enough to enjoy at points. You will get frustrated and will experience joy at certain passages.
You should get this book and listen to it, but keep in mind that you may find yourself repeating sections as you get confused. When the narrator bumps into the microphone you will hear a loud noise. He careful about the volume of listening. Most of all, enjoy the book.
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