The "march" alluded to in the title is the infamous trek made by Union General William T. Sherman’s army as they drove east across Georgia and north up through the Carolinas during the latter stages of the Civil War. Sherman serves as one of many prominent historical figures explored throughout this sweeping novel. Doctorow’s chronicling of the ravishment of war shows Sherman’s military campaign growing into a kind of massive organism of incalculable human suffering as free slaves, wandering vagabonds, and displaced Southerners join the march. The narrative interweaves several strands of stories that gain momentum as a driving confluence that encapsulate the momentous impact of war on individual lives. Although The March lacks the emotional power of his early works, E.L. Doctorow still proves with this book that he is one of America’s most distinguished writers.
Learn something about the Civil War while you enjoy your read.
Terrific book. I picked it because of my interest in the Civil War, without knowing anything about the author. I think anybody could enjoy Doctorow's poetic prose in this historical novel without knowing much about the real-life characters and events. I loved reading the monologues of General Sherman and other characters.
I was looking forward to this but it just didn't grab me. I'll try it again later. I want to like it but.....Yeah I'll try again later.
Amazing main character who "passes" in many different way: she goes back and forth between appearing as a boy or a girl, as Black or white, and as a child or an adult.
Doctorow reports on Sherman's march through the U.S. south at the end of the Civil War. He describes historical figures such as Sherman and Lincoln, but the story is told through individuals such as an army surgeon, a freed slave, a displaced plantation owner, and army deserters. The book does not dwell on violence and gore, to my relief. It dwells on the effect of the war on various parts of the population. Doctorow writes with humor and compassion, and I want to read more of his books.
Finalist of the 2006 Pulitzer prize for fiction.
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