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View Full Version : THE MARCH by E.L.Doctorow



johnnyyank
05-08-2006, 06:50 PM
after reading the theologically themed "Upon the Altar of the Nation" I thought I'd try some fiction and hit The March by the author of "Ragtime"....now here is total war....murder,rape,pillage,etc etc.....do you realize that a city like Columbia had to recover with basically no government to help it???....Berlin,Tokyo...even New Orleans(Katrina) had help......for all those who whined about "Upon the Altar"(and never read it) how does this grab you???

TimKindred
05-08-2006, 07:36 PM
Comrade,

Perhaps it might be better if you gave us a review and then tossed it up for discussion. I haven't a clue as to whether you are trying to bait the readership or just toss out some random questions with your posts.....

Instead of your vague generalities and text-messaging style of posting, why not come out and say what's on your mind?

Respects,

johnnyyank
05-08-2006, 07:42 PM
noonereadsanymorejustplaywargames

tompritchett
05-08-2006, 08:06 PM
... I thought I'd try some fiction and hit The March by the author of "Ragtime"....now here is total war....murder,rape,pillage,etc etc....

First of all you were reading fiction not a historian's review of documents detailing the conditions prior to, during, and after Sherman's occupation. Personally, I have never researched this issue so I can comment on the degree that "murder, rape, pillage, etc." did indeed occur but I would never rely a work of fiction to draw my opinion on a historical event.

As far as government, as far as I know, Sherman did not totally dissolve the local government but merely set the U.S. Army as a superior authority. Also, that authority never left as U.S. forces remained in Charleston after Sherman turned North. In other words, there was no vacuum of government. Again, you are forming an opinion based upon a work of fiction which happens to use a semi-historical setting.

johnnyyank
05-08-2006, 09:16 PM
I thought I said it WAS FICTION!.......will win a Pultitzer too.......

TimKindred
05-08-2006, 09:34 PM
Yeah, well, considering this last batch of Pulitzer awards, that ain't saying much. It seems as if you are willing to sell out your ethics and your nation, and base your reporting upon false information and single-source research, then you ought to be a shoe-in.....

Remind me again why you are posting these comments?

Respects,

tompritchett
05-08-2006, 11:47 PM
I thought I said it WAS FICTION!.......will win a Pultitzer too.......
You did say it was fiction BUT you reacted like it was pure history and then expected us to react likewise. Ergo my reply.

indguard
05-09-2006, 12:06 AM
I read a great review of the book in the Weekly Standard. They liked it a lot.

tompritchett
05-09-2006, 06:16 AM
I read a great review of the book in the Weekly Standard. They liked it a lot.
I have no opinion about the literary merits of the book itself, having not read it. My point was simple - it was a work of fiction that did not necessarily portray historical facts accurately. Yet, johnnyyank in his initial post reacts to the story line with the following:
"now here is total war....murder,rape,pillage,etc etc.....do you realize that a city like Columbia had to recover with basically no government to help it???....Berlin,Tokyo...even New Orleans(Katrina) had help" and then challenges us to react with the following:
for all those who whined about "Upon the Altar"(and never read it) how does this grab you??? My whole point was that there is a BIG difference between fictional settings and historical facts. I only react to the latter.

johnnyyank
05-09-2006, 01:35 PM
I really can't believe you guys....the book is fiction....but still ranks as one of the best Civil war fiction written...I never said it was true....all I did was post a....get this guys...a "tongue in cheek" quote about total war as the previous book I mentioned(Upon the Altar of the Nation), written by the head of the Yale Divinity School touched so many people's nerve....that book attempts to say why people fought and takes a "moral" theme for the book....I never said it was right.....even the slavery part....as far as I know only 1 in 4 owned slaves and I have yet to hear of any dying dirt-poor Reb at gettysburg saying for his last words.." Gee I'm so glad I died protecting slavery for some rich fat cat in his mansion".....I always believe the South was right to rebel...I mean we did in 1776....Chechnya is trying it now.....I always felt both sides could evoke the memories of 1776 and be "morally" just....as for THE MARCH, I threw it out to bolster the opinion of all those who told me the civil war was a "total war".....but as the author in "Upon.....the altar" said does it make it "just"??........if you read any Civil War fiction you must read Doctorow's novel...NOVEL!!!!!!!!!!

tompritchett
05-09-2006, 02:33 PM
As far as my reaction to your original post. I WOULD STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU REREAD ALL YOUR POSTS BEFORE SUBMISSION TO INSURE THAT READERS WILL NOT MIS-INTERPRET YOUR MEANING. What you meant to originally say, as per your last response, and what your original post actually said to the casual reader are very much different. I strongly suspect that I have been reading and writing professional reports and papers well (decades?) before you were even a gleam in your father's eye.

P.S. The reason this forum uses the various smiley icons is specifically designate when one is making a "tongue-in-cheek" post.

indguard
05-09-2006, 03:20 PM
tom,


My whole point was that there is a BIG difference between fictional settings and historical facts. I only react to the latter.

I would have to agree. My two favorite historical novels are both by the same writer. "Freedom" and "Scandalmonger" by William Saffire. Great books, but one must be careful about their contents!

johnnyyank
05-09-2006, 07:10 PM
........................sorry

BobSzabo
05-11-2006, 12:12 PM
And what publisher do you work for?