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The March

by E.L. Doctorow

The March by E.L. Doctorow X
The March by E.L. Doctorow
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2005, 384 pages
    Sep 2006, 384 pages

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There are currently 4 reader reviews for The March
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Marcia Fine

Another Perspective on the Civil War
Doctorow does a great job weaving Sherman's march with some memorable characters. He made it an easy history lesson with great literary style. It's clear who's side he's on; however, he elicits sympathy for the Southern point of view. We chose it for our book group and I anticipate discussion that parallels today's current events.

well worth the walk
I normally avoid "faction" - fact mixed with fiction - but having come across "The March" in a hotels library of left behind books I thought I,d give it a go, especially as I´ve been a Civil War buff for a long time and been involved in the re - enactment hobby. I really enjoyed Doctorrow´s narrative and found it vivid and evocative - Kevin Costner should buy the film rights if he hasn't done so already. After an uncertain start , the characters hauled me aboard their wagon and took me along with them. I could feel the author warming to his theme and researched into the lives of people like Judson Kilpatrick, but I wished he'd let a Civil War specialist check out the factual details - I didn't know an Enfield musketoon was a repeater? or that a platoon was a Civil War unit or that at the war's end a character could give thanks to the Grand Army of the Republic, the post war veterans organization...

An interesting look on the civil war's participants. It's full of emotions, sometimes leaving the reader feeling empathetic. However, it was incapable of making me want to read more which made it confusing and a slow read.

Lacks depth
Doctorow's reading style is clear, but that's about the best thing I'd say about The March. The book is filled with cliches, the characters are unremarkable, and the plot predictable. A saving grace is the comic relief provided by the characters Will and Arly, but beyond that the characters are caricatures. General Sherman has a profound moment in the book when he waxes philosophical, but the rest of the portrayal of Sherman is not very interesting. Better books to read concerning the Civil War or the South during the period of slavery are March by Geraldine Brooks or Cane River by Letitia Tademy. Both have fine stories and are worthy of your time.
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