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American General: The Life and Times of William Tecumseh Sherman
From respected historian John S. D. Eisenhower comes a surprising portrait of William Tecumseh Sherman, the Civil War general whose path of destruction cut the Confederacy in two, broke the will of the Southern population, and earned him a place in history as “the first modern general.” Yet behind his reputation as a fierce warrior was a sympathetic man of complex characte ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by NAL
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Nov 08, 2016 L. rated it did not like it
It's never a good sign when an author of a Civil War book can't keep the Army of Tennessee (CSA) and the Army of the Tennessee (USA) straight, or claims George McClellan was an Ohioan. I don't think I'd have picked this book up at all if my local library had had a better selection of Sherman bios on hand. Apparently Eisenhower died before this book was finished, and not having read any of his other books, I am not sure how much of the blame is his. There really isn't any area in which this book ...more
I did not know much about William Tecumseh Sherman before picking up this book. The focus of American General is The Civil War, but it gives some of the rest of Sherman's history as well. I thoroughly enjoyed Eisenhower's perspective on Sherman's life and the events of the Western campaign.
General John Eisenhower's biography of General William T. Sherman is a solid treatment of the subject. As a general himself, the author has a good grasp of many of the challenges Sherman faced, especially during the Civil War. He strips away the "boogeyman" created by Southern Lost Cause mythologists and portrays Sherman in a balanced way. Eisenhower's book is mostly focused on Sherman as an army officer, and it devoted less space to other facets of his life, but it covers most of the highlights ...more
This is a good biography of General Sherman for anyone who wants to learn about his life without the minutia of a longer book and without more details of the battles. I tend to avoid military histories because I'm not that interested in the details of battle maneuvers. In this bio the author, John D. Eisenhower, does a very good job in presenting just enough of the battles to understand what the general and the soldiers of both sides faced. The reader doesn't get bogged down with details of the ...more
This was the last of John Eisenhower's books before his death. Detailing the life of General Sherman, Eisenhower brought out the key points of his life. First, the connections made throughout his time at West Point and fighting in the Mexican American War. This lead to Sherman in the Civil War, and an interesting analysis of how the senior military leadership on both sides all knew each other as teenagers, then as junior officers. The book also tells how Sherman saw eye to eye with Grant in a ...more
I enjoy reading about the Civil War. This text did little for me, though. It was fairly straight forward and simplistic. In addition, I had several problems with the text. First, at times, he seemed to forget who his subject was. He would spend more time on Grant than Sherman. Second, he got his geography significantly wrong, at least once. He had a city on the Gulf Coast that is in central MS. This made me question his other facts. Third, he presented concepts as facts that are still being ...more
Because the author died before making his final revisions, the book feels somewhat incomplete. It is also focused primarily on his military campaigns, with not enough insight into his personal life for my taste. I would recommend trying another biography.
This was Ambassador/General Eisenhower's last book. Having read his biography of Winfield Scott, I expected a more substantial work. I expect had he lived he would have filled out with greater detail the in discussion of the points he makes in this very good book.
Disappointed. This book is not of the depth and breadth of his previous books. No doubt he wrote it too late in his life and the book had to be completed by his daughter Susan Eisenhower. A difficult task for her-a valiant attempt.
A sad end to John Eisenhower's work.
A sad end to John Eisenhower's work.
I gave it 3 but it was close to a 2. I learned some interesting facts from the book which was nice, but I just was not very impressed with Eisenhower's writing. I will say i found the introduction by his son very interesting and a nice little read and tribute.
I listened to the audio version on a recent trip and it was too dull for me. Maybe I'm just not hardcore enough for basically a war history, but this wasn't for me. I'm sure more serious historians will appreciate it, but light non fiction readers will not keep up.
The son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his wife Mamie, John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower was a retired United States Army officer who authored several books of military history. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium from 1969 to 1971.More about John S.D. Eisenhower...