5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Brings the Civil War to Life,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The March: A Novel (Little, Brown) (Taschenbuch)For over 140 years, the Civil War (still referred to as the War Between the States in many states of the old Confederacy) has been a national scar that divided us. Today's politics are still influenced by the geographical lines of that conflict.
If you simply read history books about the Civil War, it becomes a sort of sanitized tale of good and evil.
The reality was far more interesting. West Point classmates opposed each other as generals. Brothers and cousins fought on opposing sides. Although there was a draft in the North, you could hire a substitute to serve for you.
This was also the first modern war where engines of mass destruction could wreck havoc over large distances. With little in the way of medicine to deal with the slaughter, disease was often more fatal than cannons and rifles. Any injury to an extremity was usually dealt with my amputation (with little or no anesthetic) to avoid gangrene in the unhygienic conditions.
As the war drew to a close, tactics changed. Instead of treating an advance like it was going through one's own country, Northern troops under Sherman lived off the land and the people they found there after capturing Atlanta as they first marched to the sea and then headed north through the Carolinas.
The March covers the aftermath of the battle of Atlanta through to the war's conclusion from the perspective of the troops under Sherman.
Mr. Doctorow has assembled a fascinating cast of historical and fictional characters to build a complex tapestry of the interactions that actually took place. As such, his fiction attains an eternal truth much like War and Peace captures the Napoleonic Wars in a way makes them understandable to us today.
As I read the book, I couldn't help comparing it to The Red Badge of Courage and found that Doctorow succeeded in a similar way to what Stephen Crane accomplished . . . but on a larger scale.
Several of the characters will stay with you after you put the book down. One is a former slave, Pearl, who escapes from her plantation to follow the soldiers. I cannot remember a new fictional character I enjoyed reading about this year as much as I did about Pearl. The bizarrely injured Albion Smith also provides much food for thought. Arly and Will provide comic relief (much like the gravediggers in Hamlet) while demonstrating the vicissitudes of conflict and how ordinary desires rise to the surface in times of strife to create unexpected results.
The March also is significant and memorable for its portrayal of the insanities of war . . . insanities we should remember when we start thinking about imposing our will on others.
The March succeeds both at the large and the small levels. I only felt like the book faltered in a few places where surgeon Colonel Wrede Sartorius speculated about ways to improve medicine that seemed far too advanced for 1864.
I also appreciated what seemed to be an intended irony in having a Northern surgeon from Europe bear a name very similar to the Sartoris family of the Faulkner novels.
If you read only one serious novel this winter, I recommend this one.
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