Master of War

  • by Benson Bobrick
  • Narrated by Norman Dietz
  • 14 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this revelatory, dynamic biography, Benson Bobrick, profiles George H. Thomas, arguing that he was the greatest and most successful general of the Civil War. Because Thomas didn't live to write his memoirs, his reputation has been largely shaped by others, most notably Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, two generals with whom Thomas served and who diminished his successes in their favor in their own memoirs. Born in Virginia, Thomas survived Nat Turner's rebellion as a boy, then studied at West Point, where Sherman was a classmate. Thomas distinguished himself in the Mexican War and then returned to West Point as an instructor. When the Civil War broke out, Thomas remained loyal to the Union, unlike fellow Virginia-born officer Robert E. Lee (among others). He compiled an outstanding record as an officer in battles at Mill Springs, Perryville, and Stones River. At the Battle of Chickamauga, Thomas, at the time a corps commander, held the center of the Union line under a ferocious assault, then rallied the troops on Horseshoe Ridge to prevent a Confederate rout of the Union army. His extraordinary performance there earned him the nickname "The Rock of Chickamauga."Promoted to command of the Army of the Cumberland, he led his army in a stunning Union victory at the Battle of Chattanooga. Thomas supported Sherman on his march through Georgia in the spring of 1864, winning an important victory at the Battle of Peachtree Creek. As Sherman continued on his March to the Sea, Thomas returned to Tennessee and in the battle of Nashville destroyed the army of Confederate general John Bell Hood. It was one of the most decisive victories of the war, and Thomas won it even as Grant was on his way to remove Thomas from his command.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Nutshell: Grant, Sherman bad – Thomas good

This book is not about the life of Thomas (as the cover says). It should not be considered a biography. It simply is a theory of how Grant and Sherman defamed and maligned Thomas in order to boost their own careers. Reading this I was reminded of elementary school kids arguing about who’s older brother was better at baseball. Here is one sentence to describe what the book is about using similar intellect and tone as the author: Grant, Sherman bad – Thomas good.

I would have given the reader three and a half stars if I had such a choice - he is not bad.

I really wanted to like this book. Thomas is one of my favorite Civil War figures, and once downloaded I eagerly started reading it - but what a disappointment!
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- Dereck

Well Done

Accurate and detailed account of one of our country's best, albeit unsung, military leaders. Add a star if you are a civil war buff or military strategist, helpful to know Civil War generals before reading. Entertaining listen as if you were there, one that meshes human nature and politics within the career military, something that is still prevalent today.
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- chris

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-25-2009
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio