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The Destructive War

William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson, and the Americans

Charles Royster

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Description

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.

Publishers Weekly Review

Jan 11, 1993 – 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.
The Destructive War
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: United States
  • Published: Oct 15, 1991
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 564 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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