Stonewall Jackson : portrait of a soldier /
John Bowers.
New York : Morrow, 1989.
367 p., [16] p. of plates : ill.
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New York : Morrow, 1989.
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Includes index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1989-04-28:
Arguably the Civil War's most interesting figure, Thomas Jonathan Jackson was a rigid Calvinist, unforgiving of human weakness, but also a man of considerable depth, adored by his ragged soldiers. A ludicrously incompetent professor at the Virginia Military Institute, ``Tom Fool'' Jackson, to the astonishment of all, turned into a brilliant military leader early in the war, leading his troops (among them many former students) to one classic victory after another. Though seemingly indestructible, he fell at Chancellorsville on May 2, 1862, shot accidentally by his own men while scouting forward of the lines. Bowers's ( The Colony ) descriptions of the battles are beautifully wrought but remain secondary to the portrait of the man himself. No previous biographer has delved as sensitively into Jackson's background, his death-haunted youth, his love life, the formation of his unique character, or the reasons for his eccentric behavior. Illustrated. Military Book Club featured alternate. (June)
Appeared in Library Journal on 1989-05-15:
Southern-born Bowers still believes the old chestnut that had Jackson lived, the South would have won the Civil War. Like the keepers of Jackson's shrine in Winchester, Virginia, he approaches his subject with awe. Although his portrait does not disguise the Confederate general's personal idiosyncracies--food faddism, religious zealousness, hygiene--or his too stern military discipline, overall it drapes Jackson in glory. Bowers invents dialogue and imputes motives in a biographical study that is based as much on imagination as investigation. He offers little new information or insight into the man, the war, military history, or the South. Bowers's book makes for good reading, but it does not supersede Frank Vandiver's Mighty Stonewall (1957).-- Randall Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, April 1989
Booklist, May 1989
Library Journal, May 1989
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