Notes From the Margins…

Sherman’s Ghosts: Soldiers, Civilians, and the American Way of War

  • December 29, 2018
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‘A provocative, and at times maddening, argument about one of the most brilliant and destructive military minds in American history.” Clay Mountcastle, author of Punitive War: Confederate Guerrillas and Union Reprisals

‘In Sherman’s Ghosts, journalist Matthew Carr examines Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman’s method of waging war against civilians, particularly during his infamous “March to the Sea.” He first gives a balanced and nuanced account of the strategic justifications for Sherman’s original campaign and then describes its legacy of influence on American military occupations since the Spanish-American War. Carr specifically debunks “postmodern” myths of a “surgical” style of technological warfare that supposedly minimizes civilian casualties, stressing that the true goal of any military conflict is “to produce results by death and slaughter” (280). General Sherman would have approved the unflinching realism of this perspective…Sherman’s Ghosts will disabuse its readers of any notion that war can be humanized.’ – Ciarán Dean-Jones,  Michigan War Studies Review

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About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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