I received a prerelease e-copy of this book through NetGalley (publication date July 1 2014) with the expectation that I will post a review on their site and others (my blog, Goodreads, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, Twitter, Amazon, etc.).
I have read many books about the civil war and the key individuals involved, but this is the first one devoted to William Tecumseh Sherman. It is well written resulting in an easy and engrossing read. It also well documented with an extensive note section. This is the first book by the author that I have read, but based on this one I will be seeking out others that he has written.
Sherman was somewhat of a complicated character. He actually enjoyed being around people, was theatrical in his approach at times, opinionated, a bit of a rogue and stubborn. At the same time he struggled for control of his family and had a long memory when he felt he was slighted.
O’Connell takes a different approach from most biographies in that instead of one long interwoven narrative he has broken the life of “Old Billy” into three sections dealing with different facets of his character and interactions over the course of his life.
The first and lengthiest deals with his development as a military strategist. The second section deals with his interaction with his troops. The third section is devoted to his family relationships.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about William Tecumseh Sherman, his part in the Civil War and the his involvement in the opening of the west.