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Publisher's Summary

In 1864, after Union general William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta, he marched his sixty thousand troops east through Georgia to the sea, and then up into the Carolinas. The army fought off Confederate forces and lived off the land, pillaging the Southern plantations, taking cattle and crops for their own, demolishing cities, and accumulating a borne-along population of freed blacks and white refugees until all that remained was the dangerous transient life of the uprooted, the dispossessed, and the triumphant. Only a master novelist could so powerfully and compassionately render the lives of those who marched.

The author of Ragtime, City of God, and The Book of Daniel has given us a magisterial work with an enormous cast of unforgettable characters: white and black, men, women, and children, unionists and rebels, generals and privates, freed slaves and slave owners. At the center is General Sherman himself; a beautiful freed slave girl named Pearl; a Union regimental surgeon, Colonel Sartorius; Emily Thompson, the dispossessed daughter of a Southern judge; and Arly and Will, two misfit soldiers.

Almost hypnotic in its narrative drive, The March stunningly renders the countless lives swept up in the violence of a country at war with itself. The great march in E.L. Doctorow's hands becomes something more, a floating world, a nomadic consciousness, and an unforgettable reading experience with awesome relevance to our own times.

Enjoy The March? Listen to an interview with E.L. Doctorow on The Bob Edwards Show.
©2005 E.L. Doctorow; (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • PEN/Faulkner Award Winner, Fiction, 2005
  • National Book Award Finalist, Fiction, 2005
  • 2005 Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award, Fiction
  • National Book Critics Circle Award Winner, Fiction, 2005

"In this powerful novel, Doctorow gets deep inside the pillage, cruelty and destruction, as well as the care and burgeoning love that sprung up in their wake....On reaching the novel's last pages, the reader feels wonder that this nation was ever able to heal after so brutal, and personal, a conflict." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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PERFECTION.

A perfect balance of historical fact and personal story. I recommend this book to ALL.
Don't miss it! The End

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Joseph
  • Somerset, Kentucky, United States
  • 02-09-14

Doctorow and his style

I love a good historical novel, and Doctorow is my favorite in this genre. Ragtime and The March both illustrate periods in American history that are much easier to feel and understand through his eyes. The reader was superb.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Let's Use Gen. Sherman and tell emancipation

If you could sum up The March in three words, what would they be?

What is emanication.

Would you be willing to try another book from E.L. Doctorow? Why or why not?

Maybe. Storyline is readable(listenable) but weak.

What does Joe Morton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Morton is quite good. Moved the overall grade from three stars to four.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. Just not that much umph.

Any additional comments?

What is it about our (U.S.) civil war. I have read/listened to a dozen histories (including all of Shelly Foote's the Civil War - which was phenomial) and four stories with Civil War backgrounds; yet one would think the horror of it all would cause one to stop reading about it and avoid having to live through the agony that episode of history wrought on people. Yet, when envisioning that human struggle that put brother against brother and enslaver against slave, that upheaval seems to always give us hope that no matter how horrible we think we are as humans, we may, just by small progressions - very small progressions - be making ourselves better creatures. What a massive toll it took to cause the damnation of slavery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

It was OK

Positive features: A gripping description of how war affected individuals.
Negative: Feeble attempt to blend fictional characters with historic events. I've read better.

Not unentertaining; mostly average.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

An average book

The reviews on this book have been very good and emphasize the civil war/Sherman context, which I found lacking. The book was an interesting enough listen but no more. The book uses the civil war as a mere backdrop, the March of Sherman is no more than a basic connection between stories and the characters are not terribly compelling. Some of them seem to be more of a reason to flash between stories as opposed to a real character in and of themselves The narrative flows well enough but its not terribly engrossing. If I had gotten this book in print version, I would not have finished it. As an audio book, it is good enough but not great.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Enthralling!

What an amazing review of Civil War history, hearing voices from both sides of the war. I love when an author can develop separate character stories that all diverge together. A great listen!

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Masterful

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. Doctorow's depiction of a pivotal event in American history, expertly blending fact and fiction, was riveting. Joe Morton's performance was outstanding, giving life and voice to the varied characters. I cannot recommend highly enough.

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Thoroughly enjoyed!

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel! The story was believable and I could imagine each character!!

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Workmanlike novel

A competent novel that gave me insight into the myriad perspectives of people caught up in Sherman's March to the Sea. I was never truly drawn in, nor moved. I'm glad I read it, and am not tempted to read it again.

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Bad reader

Where does The March rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

What I loved about this was the detailed depiction of the horrors and wanton destruction of Sherman's march. (I am assuming that Mr. Doctorow did his research.) This is an event in history that was given very short shrift in my distant high school education. It's no wonder that The South still holds a lot of grudges against The North.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Joe Morton?

This is a very disappointing read by a good actor. Too bad. He doesn't seem to have rehearsed at all, so that by the time he reaches the end of a sentence, he sounds surprised. However, his voice is very nice. But he also seems to confuse a southern accent with stupidity, so that the intelligent characters and the slower ones all sound equally slow of mind.