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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.
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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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jim E on 09-27-05

Uncivil War

Authors and historians uniformly treat war as either an individual's experience or some combination of military strategies and conquests. Almost never does an author show that war is not either or, but both.

Doctorow walks the tightrope in this gripping story of battles, conquests, race, class and individuals....especially individuals, representing every stripe and type all swallowed by Sherman's multi-bodied beast and its inexorable march to the sea.

In covering Sherman's campaign, the author makes it emblematic of the whole Civil War. The casual cruelty is more than any planned offensive. The lives broken and reformed a kind of mirror of a ravaged and remade Union.

There's not a single slow passage in the whole narrative and the urge to listen to it from beginning to end in a single sitting nearly irresistable.

More than any tale in memory, this is the most compelling reconstruction of what Civil War really meant.

This is a must have!

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40 of 41 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Myron on 01-04-06

Great Book and Great Reader

This is a most enjoyable book, one of the best I have heard. There are many different voices ranging from the accents of southern, both those born free and the enslaved. There is also the ride range of voices found among the northerners. The reader does an excellent job.

The character development is wonderful and even though you know how the American Civil War ends, The March keeps you interested in its characters. You want to know what happens to Pearl, the newly freed young slave girl, Miss Emily, the judge’s daughter who looses everything when Sherman comes to town, particular soldiers, troop followers and a host of others affected by General Sherman’s march. You spend some time with Sherman and his officers, and the privates on foot. You meet an army surgeon born in Germany and a British reporter.

You encounter the brutality of war and still find some humor. The unexpected happens.

It is a good solid listen and one I look forward to hearing again.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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