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Demon of the Lost Cause: Sherman and Civil War History
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Demon of the Lost Cause: Sherman and Civil War History

3.18  ·  Rating Details ·  17 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
At the end of the Civil War, Union general William Tecumseh Sherman was surprisingly more popular in the newly defeated South than he was in the North. Yet, only thirty years later, his name was synonymous with evil and destruction in the South, particularly as the creator and enactor of the “total war” policy. In Demon of the Lost Cause, Wesley Moody examines these perple ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published December 30th 2011 by University of Missouri (first published November 20th 2011)
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Dick
Jan 12, 2013 Dick rated it really liked it
I grew up in the north and learned of Sherman through my normal reading of history. I had the impression that he was a tough soldier, who fought to win. Most of the books written about Sherman - with which I was and still am familiar - are by writers sympathetic to the southern cause. Sherman has been vilified in the south for a very long time, but it did not start out that way. After I moved to the south, I learned really how hated is was and still is.

It is strange when one remembers that he s
...more
Lisa
Jan 23, 2013 Lisa rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Was intrigued to see this pop up on the new books shelf at my local library. Unfortunately, it's very uneven. The writing itself is spotty (tense shift is really irritating, and not something that should pop up in a serious work- this is what editors are for) and the treatment of Sherman during the Civil War ends abruptly after the March to the Sea. I guess the author assumes the reader is conversant with the subsequent march through the Carolinas, but at the same time, the author later ...more
John
Aug 20, 2012 John rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Civil war buffs
Shelves: civil-war
Not a nuts and bolts look at W.T.Sherman. Oh it talks of the Atlanta campaign and the March to the Sea but this seems to be more of an exploration of how Sherman fit into the times. His place with contemporay journalists, former enemies, anecdotal stories and one memoir vs another. Perhaps he wasn't the demon as portrayed.

I've come to the place where the 2nd generation, the sons and daughters of soldiers after the war, is writing the history. There was a group of Northeners that claimed Sherman
...more
Fraser Sherman
Sep 01, 2016 Fraser Sherman rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
I'm always fascinated by the way history becomes mythology so a story of how Sherman's reputation became that of the bloody butcher who destroyed everything in his pass (which was how I understood myself, but I was wrong) intrigued me. Unfortunately I also hate books that dig down into every jot and tittle of a debate (with a few exceptions) and that's this one--Moody examines pretty much every argument about Sherman, pro and con, in excruciating detail, and as the arguments don't vary a lot ...more
Gerry Germond
Sep 11, 2014 Gerry Germond rated it it was ok
Shelves: civil-war, biography
A biography of a reputation, and one doesn’t see many of those. Interesting to learn General Sherman wasn’t always Dixie’s bogeyman, and the effects of his march, just a change of base in Sherman’s thinking, weren’t as devastating as many think. Chapter 6, “Sherman versus the Lost Cause,” summarizes how the Lost Cause mythology came about.
John Schwam
Aug 18, 2016 John Schwam rated it it was amazing
Excellent research and insight on what the post Civil War sentiment was on both sides of the Mason Dixon and not just about W.T. Sherman. Moody offers a detailed discussion on how the south felt about CSA generals after the war as well. Outstanding research notes bibliography as well for future reading and your own research. Very readable and engaging.
Sean
Feb 24, 2016 Sean rated it it was ok
The attempt at a corrective to the dominant Sherman narrative is appreciated, but the author is always losing the forest for the trees. Though short, it became a slog.
Jj Kwashnak
Dec 30, 2012 Jj Kwashnak rated it really liked it
Shelves: civil-war, history
Interesting look at the making of the demonic myth and reputation of the Civil War general as the "religion" of the Lost Cause grew.
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“that war is war, and not popularity seeking.”40” 0 likes
“the devastation and misery that attend our progress, but that all history teaches us that war, pestilence and famine are the usual order of things by which the Almighty allays the storms of human passion after the long calm of peace.” 0 likes
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