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Sherman: Soldier, Realist, American

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  317 ratings  ·  23 reviews
When Liddell Hart's Sherman was first published in 1929, it received encomiums such as these:

"A masterly performance . . . one of the most thorougly dignified, one of the most distinguished biographies of the year." -- Henry Steele Commager, New York Herald Tribune

"It is not often that one comes upon a biography that is so well done as this book. Nearly every page bears
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Paperback, 474 pages
Published March 22nd 1993 by Da Capo Press (first published November 30th 1928)
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Ben Bartlett
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This classic biography is important in three ways. First, it is simply an excellent portrayal of a great man's life. Second, it is a powerful corrective to the unfair popular perspectives on Sherman that are often taught at the high-school level. And third, it marks the beginning of BH Liddell's developing ideas on strategic concepts like proceeding along the line of least expectation and maintaining flexibility of options. Terrific biography, one of the best I've read. ...more
John Minster
"Sherman" was really a pleasure to read; Liddell Hart highlights a controversial and fascinating general with perspicacity and brevity. He paints Sherman as one often considered belligerent, pugnacious and wild; yet in reality he was logical, measured, and when needed, forceful.

Perhaps the most prescient general of the war, Sherman and his titular march are rightly legendary. Liddell Hart charts Sherman's evolution of thought leading to that fateful course, while inserting some of his own strat
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Harry Lee
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's not easy to find a hero. Most are flawed. But Sherman is the man.

The book was a real page-turner for me and has become a favourite. I had the book for a while now, but was wary of reading it ... worried that I might start a book and not finish it because I might be bored and get lost in the details. I read it with some Civil War maps from Wikipedia. I usually read a few books at the same time, but this book totally consumed me.

In finishing the book, I have found for myself someone that I
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Kenneth
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very often I am plagued by the question of whether I have enjoyed a work of biography because I liked the subject or because the quality of the writing was excellent leading me to like the subject. In this case, I have no doubt: I loved both. BH Liddell Hart was a professional soldier and also an extraordinary writer. William Tecumseh Sherman was the best grand strategist either side of the Civil War produced and the second most able tactical commander after Lee. It's no exaggeration to say that ...more
The Angry Lawn Gnome
Not nearly as good as his later works, though I guess the "indirect" approach repeated over and over in Strategy was maybe first hinted at here.

Surprisingly positive view of Hood, everything else I've ever read has him as a grade A scumbag for the smear campaign he ran to get Johnston's job, followed up with the idiocy of attacking an entrenched Thomas. This is not BLH's view: He seemed to think part of the reason Sherman cut loose and lived off the land because Sherman felt Hood was too unpred
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Jeff Lacy
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An inspiring biography of a brilliant general who devised new military strategy. Unlike Robert O’Connell’s biography, Liddell Hart concentrates on the details of battles, particularly the invasion from Chattanooga to Atlanta, through Georgia, to Savannah, up through Charleston into North Carolina. I was born in Atlanta, raised in Marietta and the battlefields round Kennesaw Mountain. I was soaked in the myth of Sherman’s March to the Sea. But in Hart’s book, I gained new and better knowledge con ...more
Stephen Morrissey
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
William Tecumseh Sherman and his men may have physically torn asunder the heart of the Confederacy by marching through Georgia and the Carolinas, but the general's mind and grand strategy has, perhaps more significantly, cut through military thought as the first instance of total war.

Liddell Hart, a renowned military historian and commentator, delivers a fine biography of Sherman. Though the language is stilted, and perhaps now a bit dated, and the battles are told in less-than-clear prose, Hart
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Frank Minich
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'd been interested in Sherman since we visited St. Louis last summer and stopped by Sherman's grave. It was not very impressive, given his notoriety. Neither was William Clark's grave /monument (which was more elaborate) - St. Louis doesn't seem to have the funds to keep-up the cemeteries.
The book is almost completely focused on Sherman's Civil War exploits. For example, everything later than the end of the war is found in the 'Epilogue' chapter (the last in the book).
I'd like to take off a hal
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Penelope
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio of this book borrowed from the library. Very interesting and informative look at the military strategist and original thinker that was W.T. Sherman. Also, because this was written by a British writer, it was much more direct without the political considerations of the causes and execution of the Civil War taken into account.
Andrew Gibson
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5. Really good. WTS needs more reps for his stoic, pragmatic, essential role in American history. His march through Georgia and South Carolina were strategic masterstrokes, and this book tells why. Well written and interesting narrative by the author.
Robert Wilson
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book

Outstanding in understanding the General and the man behind the brutal campaign against the south , the march through Georgia and the Carolinas , highly recommend to students of history
Marc
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Useful book. Picks up quite a bit as it enters the better known war campaigns. Fairly light on anecdotes for a biography, however there is a great overarching picture of the controversies Sherman created particularly towards the end of the war.
Karl Schaeffer
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I had some trepidations before starting this book. It was written in 1926. How relevant would it be? Hart's treatise on Sherman stands the test of time. It's a excellent read. Sherman is a kick-ass, righteous dude. This author clearly thinks he's the class of the act of civil war generals. Sherman definitely had the vision of what it would take to vanquish the South (i.e., scorched earth policy). His background in the quartermaster corps gave him the insight to move large bodies of troops with l ...more
Matt
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A powerful biography, particularly of Sherman's military accomplishments and the intellectual development of his strategic thinking. You can see how this led to Liddell Hart's Strategy in which he more fully develops his ideas of the value of the indirect approach.

Liddell Hart's examinations of the American political scene, particularly after the Civil War had ended and Reconstruction had begun, seem tacked on, and are shallow enough, and outdated enough, to make it almost worth skipping the Ep
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Mike
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was my first book on the civil war, and while it can get dense, the details allow you to follow Sherman on his quest. The way that he divides his army and removes all excess equipment from the troops to continually make them leaner and faster is amazing. His march was a stroke of genius, and his way of picking multiple objectives and moving his army back and forth, see sawing between them to keep the enemy from committing to either was another stroke of genius.

A definite read for one who l
...more
John
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sherman is presented as a man who is a flawed hero. He makes both brilliant choices and tragic mistakes. The best example of the respect people had for him was when Joe Johnston, Sherman's opponent on the way to Atlanta, stood with his hat off in the rain as Sherman's funeral. When it was suggested that he put his hat back on Johnston replied, "He would do the same for me." Johnston died shortly afterwards of pneumonia. ...more
Jerry Mrizek
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really did like this book although not as much as Liddell Hart liked Sherman. He ignores some big mistakes that Sherman made during the war. That shouldn't detract from Sherman's accomplishments but they should be acknowledged. ...more
Peter
Oct 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Hart's best book he ever wrote. ...more
Robert Stalker
Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the Confederacy
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Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart usually known before his knighthood as Captain B. H. Liddell Hart was an English soldier, military historian and leading inter-war theorist.

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