Feature

The March

The author of Ragtime offers a new view of war and its affects on everyday living.

One finishes E.L. Doctorow's 'œbrilliant' and 'œaddictive' Civil War novel hating not war itself but 'œthe secret complicity between war and everyday life,' said Lee Siegel in The New York Observer. The author of Ragtime has turned Gen. William Sherman's brutal, mythic march through Georgia into a metaphor for the way any war 'œimposes a new normalcy' on all who happen into its path.

In Doctorow's sure hands, Sherman's march is a human weather front, 'œa revolution in motion,' said John Updike in The New Yorker. But whereas Ragtime toyed cruelly with its individual characters, one measure of this book's 'œlargeness of sympathy' is that, as unsparingly as it details war's horrors, it affords 'œrespect and even admiration' for the architects of the carnage, including Sherman, Abraham Lincoln, and Ulysses S. Grant. The novel's most sympathetic character, though, is a beautiful, illegitimate daughter of a female slave, and Doctorow opens himself to charges of sentimentality by rendering her as almost 'œsuperhuman' in her goodness. Maybe so, said Vincent D. Balitas in The Washington Times. But she's the character readers will remember when they close this 'œpowerful,' thought-provoking book.

Price: 29.95

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