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This book has several odd theses. Thomas is a bit of a revisionist and a "Monday morning quarterback". The first half seems dedicated to implying that everyone back then was pretty stupid and romantic about "war" and all that it entailed. Thomas paints with a broad brush and makes it seem as though both the North and South were filled with nothing but ignorant political and military leaders, media/journalists, clergy and civilians who expected any conflict to be resolved in about a week's span with complete victory and hardly any casualties. I think the time period of the 1800s had a different method of communication, whereby hyperbole and drama was used quite a bit... this is the period that produced Samuel Clemens after all. My other thesis peeve with Thomas is that he interrupts his dull narrative and inept analysis to link what he thinks are mistakes in the administration of the Civil War with mistakes in the administration of the Iraq war(s). The second half of the book is just a compilation of odd events and characters, none of which or who are very interesting.
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Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
The Dogs of War is of interest to those who who read a lot about the Civil War, although it doesn't really have any information that is new. The conclusions the author draws are interesting, however.
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
Perhaps a different reader. This one was rather dull.
Could you see The Dogs of War: 1861 being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?
No, this is not destined for being filmed.