Read The March by E.L. Doctorow Online


In 1864, Union general William Tecumseh Sherman marched his sixty thousand troops through Georgia to the sea, and then up into the Carolinas. The army fought off Confederate forces, demolished cities, and accumulated a borne-along population of freed blacks and white refugees until all that remained was the dangerous transient life of the dispossessed and the triumphant. IIn 1864, Union general William Tecumseh Sherman marched his sixty thousand troops through Georgia to the sea, and then up into the Carolinas. The army fought off Confederate forces, demolished cities, and accumulated a borne-along population of freed blacks and white refugees until all that remained was the dangerous transient life of the dispossessed and the triumphant. In E. L. Doctorow’s hands the great march becomes a floating world, a nomadic consciousness, and an unforgettable reading experience with awesome relevance to our own times....

Title : The March
Author :
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ISBN : 9780812976151
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 363 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The March Reviews

  • Will Byrnes
    2019-02-15 21:57

    Although it is not an overly lengthy novel, Doctorow paints a very wide palette. It may be too wide. His cast of characters is broad, including the mandatory historical personalities. Most prominent among these is William Tecumsah Sherman (“Uncle Billy” to his troops), of the eponymous March. Pearl is a white skinned black, a slave fathered by her master. If there is a central character here, I suppose it is her, but not by a large measure. Arly is a petty criminal, who along with his partner, is released from prison by a Confederate general in return for his value as a soldier. He follows a twisted path to what becomes, for him, a glorious end. A photographer, or at least his assistant and his equipment, figure in this tale, as does a family. Two sisters in search of different things, one looking for her lost sons, another for a purpose in life. E.L. Doctorow - from The New York TimesThe March is an image of the road, a literary metaphor as well as a physical one. While all the characters walk the path blazed by Sherman to some degree it is the paths each blaze personally that resonate. Pearl is on her way not only to Washington Square to deliver a letter to a dead soldier’s family, but to make a new life for herself, journeying from slavery to freedom. A German doctor travels a path to give his life meaning, but is unable to engage in his experience in a meaningful way emotionally, and so, in a way, remains where he is. A roué of a colonel enjoys his life as a ladies man while proving his mettle in the field, until he is undone by his own desires. When this is made into a film, and it most certainly will be, barring a significant rewrite it will be populated with an “ensemble cast.” No one character leads the way here. Sherman himself is not introduced until page 74. Whites of both the north and south share our attention with diverse black characters. Leaders occupy the same pages as the lowest on society’s ladder. A brief Lincoln appearance is mesmerizing. Doctorow offers a tableau of an America on the march from a slave to a modern society, with a peek at many of the issues entailed in that transition. I was reminded of Whitman while reading this. Doctorow seems in Whitman’s way drawn to the sinews of the real America. He paints a very real image of a major event in a significant time. And while one might feel a desire for a singular character to whom to relate, it makes more sense in this work to step back and take in Doctorow’s pointillist approach, as the many individual specks add up to a very compelling image. Highly recommended

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-02-17 15:00

    The March, E.L. DoctorowThe March is a 2005 historical fiction novel by E. L. Doctorow. It won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (2006) and the National Book Critics Circle Award/Fiction (2005).تاریخ نخستین خوانش: هفتم ماه ژوئن سال 2015 میلادیعنوان: پیش روی؛ نویسنده: دکتروف: مترجم: امیر احمدی آریان؛ نشر چشمه، 2013، در 413 ص؛ شابک: 9786006846170؛ موضوع: جنگ داخلی امریکا؛ قرن 21 موقایع داستان «پیش روی» در اواخر سال 1864 میلادی و اوایل سال 1865 میلادی روی می‌دهند. شخصیت اصلی داستان، ژنرالی به نام ویلیام شرمن است که سپاه شصت هزار نفری خود را از جنوب آمریکا در مسیری به حرکت درمی‌آورد که در نهایت آنچه باقی می‌ماند مسیری به مسافتی شصت مایل است. رمان با پایان یافتن جنگ به انتها می‌رسد و آنچه برجا مانده جز بوی باروت و خون نیست. سربازانی که تصور می‌کنند با اتمام روزهای سخت، آرامش را تجربه خواهند کرد از آینده خبر ندارند؛ روزهایی که زخم‌های روحی و جسمی سر باز خواهند کرد. داستان با گام‌های سربازان و پیشروی ارتش به جلو می‌رود و یکی از نکات قابل توجه در سراسر داستان، تغییراتی ناگهانی است که در شخصیت‌ها به وضوح قابل مشاهده است. ا. شربیانی

  • William1
    2019-02-10 21:05

    Many shifting points of view tell this big story of General William Tecumseh Sherman's famous March to the Sea (1865) which ended the American Civil War in the south. Literary compression is the wonder here. Full characters are brought forth in half a page. It is for the most part a lean and uncluttered style, though with a propensity to swell briefly at times into overwriting. Fortunately, these interludes are few, but they lowered the achievement in my estimation to a mere three stars. The tragedy to both sides, especially the South, which provides the novel's setting, is most affectingly told. There is Pearl, daughter of a white master and slave mother who—like Joe Christmas in Faulkner's Light In August—has trouble knowing exactly who she is. She is drawn to white people because she is white, but feels she is black since she was raised in the plantation slave quarters. Will and Arly are young Confederate soldiers who, in the mayhem of the March, put on the uniforms of the Union dead to save themselves. Then there is Sherman himself, a brilliant, brooding loner respected by his officers but resented for his bond with the rank and file. There is the surgeon Wrede Sartorius—the name is almost certainly an homage to William Faulkner whose Colonel Sartorus appears in The Unvanquished and other novels—who works with an almost inhuman intensity to save the dying and thereby drives a woman he deeply cares for from his arms. The doctor is dehumanized by the war, not to the point of madness. Instead, he retreats into cold intellectuality where it is less possible to feel. He is numb. The dispensary scenes—where the casualties await Sartorius's saw—remind me very much of similar scenes in Émile Zola's La Débâcle, about the Franco-Prussian War (1870). A Pyrrhic victory for the Union. A terrible, interminable war of brothers killing brothers. The U.S. Civil War continues to shape the identity of America to this day.

  • Lyn
    2019-01-24 19:50

    The march.In E.L. Doctorow’s capable hands it becomes more than a collective activity, more than a military composite. The march becomes a thing, a great living mass, whose arms and tentacles extend out for miles, though forests and across streams and down city streets. Each soldier in the march is a cell in a living organism of seek and destroy, a great sprawling entity of military might and objective, but diverse and chaotic enough to encompass stragglers, hangers on, passengers and parasites.Describing General William Tecumseh Sherman’s 1864 march to the sea from burning Atlanta, novelist E. L. Doctorow illustrates a vision of history that comes alive for the reader. Following several characters on the march, including the General himself, the reader is carried along this flowing river of humanity bent on conquest and destruction, but also alive with individual purpose and reason. The march as a collective is a heterogeneous amalgam of moving and sometimes contradictory parts, but each distinctive person as a part of the whole has a clear and separate story of its own and Doctorow masterfully brings the mass to vivid life.Sherman was shown to be a destroyer and also a threat of more destruction. His burning of Atlanta, Savanah, Columbia and much of Georgia and the Carolinas was meant to be a fatal coup de grace to the South, but worse, a promise of penultimate blows if ever his latest act of total war was not sufficient. The author shows the devastating result of the whole but also intrinsic and divergent cause and effect of the single players in the tide that is the Union army thrusting a killing blow into the heart of the Confederacy.Doctorow has long been on my radar to read and this first read will only be the first. The March does much to define the American Civil War but transcends this war as a piece of American history and goes on to thoroughly and minutely provide for the reader a great history. I think only Tolstoy’s War and Peace matches Doctorow’s ability to, in a single literary work, describe both a great event and also the microscopic human details of that experience. I will read much more from this virtuoso craftsman.

  • Bart
    2019-02-02 22:07

    This was good, not great.Such has been my feeling about all three of the Doctorow novels I've read, Billy Bathgate, City of God and The March. All of these novels are well-structured, technically proficient works, and all contain something that makes them above average.But nothing quite makes them extraordinary.Some credit has to go to Doctorow, however, just for picking Tecumseh Sherman's march as his topic. This is a controversial subject, even 140 years later. Truthfully, I most enjoyed the parts where Doctorow - a writer who proved in City of God that he has a top notch brain - tried to lead us inside Sherman's mind.The novel may have been better for me if it had been more about marching and obligation and mania than bit players. The Pearl character, specifically, just felt like Doctorow was trying too hard to make a somewhat tired social commentary; the ending of the book - with Pearl being "ahead of her time" - was uncharacteristically trite.Going into this novel, and knowing the abandon with which Doctorow tackled the existence of God in a previous novel, I expected more marching and more Sherman - and all the horrific choices an otherwise decent, but empirical-thinking, man had to make.Finally, the supporting cast of The March is what makes me hesitate to recommend this novel to historical fiction fans. For now, let's just let contemporary fiction fans enjoy it as an entertaining read that uses very interesting scenery in a pretty good way.

  • Maryam
    2019-02-19 23:05

    این رمان در مورد جنگ داخلی آمریکا است. در آخر کتاب مصاحبه ی کوتاهی با نویسنده انجام شده است که مپرسد چه فرقی بین مورخی که تاریخ می نویسد با یک رمان نویس است که جواب می دهد :مورخ به شما می گوید چه اتفاقی افتاد. رماان نویس می گوید آن اتفاق چه طور افتاد

  • allison
    2019-01-28 15:15

    Totally mesmerizing, hallucinagenic almost. Creates that feeling of being unmoored from the shore and swept along a in a current. At any moment, someone or something else can float by you as you're carried along by the water against your will, just hoping to keep your feet up so as not to get pulled under by a hidden rock or branch and drown. He's a really good writer.

  • Miss Ravi
    2019-02-18 16:08

    باید این را همین اول بنویسم که پیش‌روی یک رُمان تاریخی است و بالاخره ممکن است محدودیت‌هایی برای نویسنده‌اش به وجود بیاورد اما گویا دکتروف/داکترو علاقه دارد پای شخصیت‌های واقعی را به رمان‌هایش باز کند. بله! جوابم به همه‌ی آنانی که رگتایم را خوانده‌اند همین است. بله، پیش‌روی به پای نثر دلنشین و پُرکشش رگتایم نمی‌رسد. اصلاً آن طنزی که در رگتایم وجود دارد، این‌جا به چشم نمی‌خورد. و آخرهای کتاب، جایی که دیگر می‌دانید اتفاق تازه‌ای نمی‌افتد و پیش‌روی حالاهاست که به پایان برسد، فکر می‌کنید چرا باید تاریخ جنگ داخلی امریکا را با این جزئیات بدانید؟ اما گاهی، صفحاتی هستند که به شدت و تا سر حد مرگ ذوق‌زده‌ی‌تان کنند. باید بگویم که نویسنده‌ی این کتاب تبحر و مهارت فوق‌العاده‌ای در فضاسازی و توصیف مکان همراه با جزئیات دقیق دارد. آ‌ن‌چنان فضا را می‌سازد که صفحات کتاب صحنه‌ی زنده‌ی این حرکت تاریخی می‌شوند. قبول دارم که شخصیت‌ها هیچ‌کدام شخصیت اصلی نیستند، همه جزئی از توده‌ی آدم‌هایی هستند که در گوشه و کنار این پیش‌روی حضور دارند اما دست کم یکی، دوتای‌شان را دوست خواهید داشت و خودتان را به آن‌ها نزدیک حس می‌کنید.

  • Adam
    2019-02-09 21:48

    Confidence Man era Melville, Whitman, Joseph Heller. McCarthy, Kurosawa (Hidden Fortress), Chaucer, Dos Passos, all come along on the march. Primal, poetic, American this book of the total war we unleashed punctuates the mayhem with moments of absurd comedy and character warmth. A collage of characters some of which appear for a few pages others are wound throughout the entire book create an effect between a tapestry and documentary with the feel of epic poetry and the drive and grit of a novel.

  • Steffi
    2019-02-06 16:03

    Obwohl großer Doctorow-Fan (seine New York-Romane habe ich verschlungen), graute mir vor diesem Roman über den Amerikanischen Bürgerkrieg. Ich befürchtete zu viel Militärstrategie, Kriegsgemetzel, Soldatenpathos. All das kommt auch vor, aber die Hauptrolle spielen die normalen Menschen, deren Alltag zerstört wird: Das hellhäutige Mischlingsmädchen Pearl, das der weiße Plantagenbesitzer mit einer Sklavin zeugte; Emily, die Tochter eines Südstaaten-Richters, die sich, nachdem sie alles verloren hat, als Schwester einem Militärarzt der Yankees anschließt; eben dieser deutschstämmige Arzt Wrede Sartorius, der keinen Unterschied zwischen den politischen Lagern macht, aber merkwürdig emotionslos scheint (diese fast faustische Figur findet sich auch in Das Wasserwerk.); die Deserteure Will und Arly, die chamäleon-artig Fronten wechseln, um zu überleben; das schwarze Liebespaar Wilma und Coalhouse, die von einem besseren, freien Leben träumen (Coalhouse wiederum wohl der Vater der Hauptfigur in Doctorows Ragtime); der Soldat Stephen Walsh, der seine Jugend in Manhattan verbrachte (und daher frage ich mich, ob auch er mir in einem anderen Roman Doctorows bereits begegnet sein mag); und viele mehr. Selbst General William T. Sherman ist ein durchaus zweideutiger Charakter. Aus verschiedenen Perspektiven ergibt sich ein Bild dieser historischen Person, die man folglich bewundern, bemitleiden oder verachten kann.Und nach und nach werden die Personen eingeführt, die mit ihrer Arbeit die Erinnerung an diesen Krieg für die Nachwelt erhalten werden: Die Fotografen Josiah Culp und Calvin und der Journalist Hugh Pryce. Letzterer stammt aus England und reist in General Shermans Armee mit, sozusagen ein früher „embedded journalist“. So ganz nebenbei bringt er damit den Vergleich zwischen alter und neuer Welt mit ein, wenn er zum Beispiel angesichts der Tatsache, dass Sherman von seinen Soldaten „Onkel Billy“ genannt wird, denkt: „Gott stehe dem armen Schlucker von Gardisten bei, der Cromwell mit Onkel Ollie angesprochen hätte“. Oder, kurze Zeit später, notiert er: „Wenn diese gewöhnlichen Soldaten, keiner von höherem Dienstgrad als dem eines Feldwebels, inmitten ihrer gefahrvollen Pflichten, innehalten, um sich mit wesentlichen moralischen Fragen zu beschäftigen, dann schimmerte daran für Pryce die Quintessenz des amerikanischen Geistes auf. Unter gemeinen Soldaten Ihrer Majestät konnte er sich eine solche Diskussion nicht vorstellen“. Nichts desto trotz muss er kurze Zeit später erleben, wie die Zivilisiertheit in ungezügelte Rache umschlängt.Kleiner Cineastischer Ausflug: Um mich auf die Zeit weiter einzustimmen, habe ich nach dem ersten Abschnitt den Film „Lincoln“ angeschaut. Man mag Steven Spielberg als allzu kommerziellen Blockbuster-Produzenten verurteilen, aber er weiß schon was er tut. Und nur mir seiner (finanziellen) Macht kann man fordernde Stoffe mit einem solchen Star-Angebot auf die Leinwand bringen (mehr noch als „Lincoln“ würde ich hier „Amistad“ nennen). Daniel Day-Lewis ist als Lincoln wie immer fabelhaft, aber auch die mit Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn und James Spader besetzten Nebenrollen überzeugen. Nur die stets theatralisch-flennende Sally Field (hier als Mrs Lincoln) geht mir schon seit „Nicht ohne meine Tochter“ auf die Nerven. Der Kampf um den 13. Zusatzartikel der Verfassung, mit dem die Sklaverei in den Staaten abgeschafft wurde, wird eindringlich beschrieben; die Zweifel, die oft unsauberen Tricks mit denen politisch das Richtige erreicht wird (das scheint uns heute so klar, dass die Abschaffung der Sklaverei richtig war, aber auch die Gegenpositionen werden hier nicht vernachlässigt), werden dem Zuschauer nahe gebracht. Und immer wieder erstaunt mich die Tatsache, dass es die Republikaner waren, die sich für diesen Zusatz, gegen den Widerstand der Demokraten, einsetzten. Klar, es ging auch manchem Republikaner nicht unbedingt um ein Ende der Sklaverei, sondern in erster Linie um den Erhalt der Union und den Sieg des modernen, industriellen Nordens über den Süden. Aber dennoch: Heute sind wir es gewohnt, die US-Demokraten als freiheitlicher denkend als die Republikaner wahrzunehmen, und dass nicht erst seit Obama.Aber zurück zum Buch: Dass oft die Sicht von Zivilisten eingenommen wird, heißt nicht, dass der Krieg nicht eindrucksvoll beschrieben würde. Die Verrohung der Soldaten, die wohl bei jedem Krieg irgendwann einsetzt, spielt auch hier eine Rolle. Und die Vorgesetzten, Offiziere und Generäle, schauen in diesen Situationen weg – nicht aus Gleichgültigkeit, sondern weil sie wissen, dass sie ihre Autorität in solchen Momenten der Plünderung und Zerstörung nicht behaupten könnten. Um ihrem Ansehen nicht zu schaden, lassen sie es bleiben. Und neben den durchaus intelligenten, besonnenen Generälen, hebt der Krieg ja gerade solch fragwürdigen Gestalten wie den Frauenhelden Kilpatrick in den Rang eines Generals, wo er ausgiebig privaten Gebrauch seiner Position macht.Glaubhaft wird Doctorows Kriegsbeschreibung zudem dadurch, dass er sein Personal nicht, wie man das in Romanen und Filmen oft erlebt, bis zum Ende überleben lässt. Immer wieder sterben Personen, die man lange begleitet hat und gerne länger begleitet hätte. Aber der Krieg kann jeden treffen. Und so sind auch die Wendungen in diesem Roman kaum vorhersehbar.Dieser Roman macht sich viele Perspektiven zu eigen; er zeigt, dass es im Krieg nur Verlierer gibt, unabhängig vom Ausgang; er führt vor, wie der Krieg das Schlechteste (gelegentlich auch das Beste) aus Menschen herausholt. Der Roman zeigt aber auch, dass die militärische Befreiung von Menschen allein den Befreiten nicht hilft. Die Schwarzen, aus der Sklaverei befreit, bleiben besitz-, bildungs, -perspektivlos zurück in den niedergebrannten Südstaaten, die niemanden mehr ernähren können. Wenn sie dem „Marsch“ der Soldaten folgen, werden sie von ihren Befreiern vertrieben, zurückgelassen, denn für einen Feldzug sind sie nicht zu gebrauchen und die Nordstaaten wollen sie auch nicht aufnehmen. Es gibt also viele Aspekte in diesem Buch, die einen auch an viel weniger weit zurückliegende Konflikte erinnern lassen.

  • John
    2019-02-03 16:56

    I'm a big fan of Doctorow, and we go way back; he's probably the first serious contemporary novelist I read, thanks to a copy of Ragtime acquired when I attended Ragtime Night at Comiskey Park sometime in the late 1970s (I find the notion that copies of a Doctorow novel were given away by the thousands at a White Sox game only slightly more mystifying than the fact that I was attending a White Sox game to begin with). This, however, is not his strongest work. Doctorow used Sherman's March to the Sea as a backdrop for a big, sprawling, multi-focused narrative in the Ragtime vein; he even nods to that earlier work at one point through a minor character, Coalhouse Walker, Sr. -- presumably the father of Ragtime's protagonist. But it doesn't work as well as Ragtime, I think because there's no central conflict tying all the narrative threads together. I suppose you could argue that the Civil War itself is that conflict, but Doctorow seems to have little new to say about that, and placing the emphasis on such a familiar historical narrative detracts from fully developing his characters. I think Doctorw's at his best when he manages to balance imagined social/popular histories with rich, fully-developed characters; Ragtime may be his masterpiece, but I'm even fonder of World's Fair and Billy Bathgate because they do that so well. Here, the history is too canonical, and the characters seem to disappear into it. Still well-written and diverting, but ultimately a bit disappointing for this fan.

  •  amapola
    2019-02-11 20:57

    “Questo inferno, il mio inferno, è senza attribuzione. E' la vita quando non è più capace di tollerarsi”.“La marcia” è quella che – sul finire della guerra di secessione americana, nel novembre 1864 – compie il Generale William Tecumseh Sherman alla testa di un esercito di 62.000 giacche blu da Atlanta a Savannah (Georgia), per poi proseguire attraverso il Sud e il Nord Carolina, fino alla resa dell’esercito sudista.Durante l’avanzata nordista – tra saccheggi, scontri a fuoco, incendi, distruzioni – molti civili che hanno perso tutto, completamente allo sbando, si aggregano in coda alla carovana dell’esercito, nel tentativo di sopravvivere in qualche modo alla tragedia che li ha colpiti. In questo romanzo la guerra è vista soprattutto attraverso i loro occhi, gli occhi di chi la subisce e cerca disperatamente di restare vivo, di non perdere la propria umanità in quell’inferno.Tantissimi i personaggi illuminati dall’autore e, di volta in volta, portati in primo piano dalla narrazione: Pearl, negra dalla pelle bianca; Arly e Will, disertori e spie, uniti dalla sorte in una fuga perenne e trascinati in situazioni sempre più paradossali; Emily, travolta da eventi che cancellano in un attimo ogni certezza, in cerca di un nuovo punto d'appoggio; Wrede Sartorius, chirurgo tedesco, dotato di conoscenze e capacità molto superiori per quel tempo, ma freddo, un uomo tremendamente solo nella sua spietata lucidità; il Generale Sherman, dotato di un istinto quasi infallibile per tutto ciò che riguarda tattica e strategia militare, ma perseguitato da un senso di insicurezza che affiora nei momenti di calma, e per questo temuta più di qualsiasi battaglia… Una miriade di personaggi (storici e di finzione) che ci accompagnano per tutto il romanzo e altri che vivono e muoiono nello spazio di alcune pagine, se non addirittura di pochi paragrafi. Nessuno di loro, alla fine, uscirà intatto da questa esperienza, da questa marcia, dalla guerra.Un romanzo corale, drammatico, in cui Doctorow ci fa passare attraverso atroci sofferenze con una prosa raffinata, mano ferma e sguardo pietoso.

  • Ed Mestre
    2019-02-24 20:57

    A quick read and with so many characters and plot lines it is perfect if you like to channel surf or have ADHD. We follow these characters, from the lowliest freed slave to General Sherman, as they march through Georgia, South & North Carolina. A fascinating cross section of Northern and Southern society we see the Civil War through a very human perspective. Even Sherman emerges from the chiseled daguerreotype image we grew up with into a real human being. At times funny, at times heartbreaking, and always memorable, this is both a portrait of humanity and history. The wonderful storytelling prose will suddenly arise above and beyond the call of duty with rich and haunting sentences. For instance as one character watches Columbia, S.C. burn. "What hell was this? Surely not the composed Hell of priests and nuns. Their Hell was comforting. It meant there was a Heaven. This hell, my hell, is without ascription. It is life when it can no longer tolerate itself."

  • Geologe
    2019-01-30 22:51

    Der Amerikanische Bürgerkrieg kurz vor der Entscheidung - im Jahre 1865 führt DER MARSCH von Georgia über South Carolina nach North Carolina.Den Unionstruppen schliessen sich immer mehr (dann ehemalige) Sklaven an und es wird nur zu deutlich, dass dies nur der Schwächung der “Rebellen“ diente und kein hehres Ziel der Nordstaaten war (nachher wurde es dann so “verkauft“).Letztlich sind sie nur zusätzliche Mäuler, die kaum gestopft werden können und es gilt sie loszuwerden.Ihnen wird schmerzlich bewusst, dass ihre neue Freiheit eben auch Heimatlosigkeit bedeutet – in jeder Beziehung.DER MARSCH ist ein Episodenroman, der unterschiedliche Schicksale beschreibt, die teilweise miteinander verwoben sind.Die Beweggründe der einzelnen Personen (es gibt keinen Hauptprotagonisten, was wunderbar demokratisch ist) werden aufgezeigt, es gibt Gewalt, Liebe, Verzweiflung, Überlebenskämpfe, Nachsicht, Mitgefühl, Patriotismus, Opportunismus, Desertation, Verrat, Nächstenliebe……und wieder grausame Gewalt. Was fühlt eine hellhäutige Ex-Sklavin, was ein Arzt im Lazarett, was ein Gutsherr, was ein Deserteur, was ein General, was eine Mutter, was eine “höhere“ Tochter, was ein schon vorher freier Farbiger und so fort ?Ihr Blick auf den furchtbaren Krieg, ihre Art damit umzugehen, ihre Art den Überlebenskampf aufzunehmen, ihre Art das Grauen zu verarbeiten, zu verdrängen……davon handelt dieses sehr beeindruckende Buch.Es ist ausgesprochen spannend, aber keineswegs sensationslüstern oder blutrünstig.Die Sprache ist präzise, aber nicht kühl – sie ist mitfühlend, aber nicht schwülstig; perfekt getroffener Tonfall.Ganz fabelhaft sind die Karten im Innendeckel – so kann man den Weg, den Marsch gedanklich besser verfolgen.Zum Glück wird nicht ausufernd über Kriegsstrategien gefachsimpelt und so kann jedem Leser (auch den nicht sonderlich geschichtlich Interessierten) dieses Buch nur ans Herz gelegt werden. Grossartige Nachhilfe resp. Auffrischung ohne Lehrerattitüde.

  • Jan-Maat
    2019-02-11 23:06

    Coming to this novel after Ragtime I was disappointed. It is a far more conventional story that tracks along Sherman's march through Georgia and then up through South Carolina. Hanging about the story are two dastardly brothers, sinister but also comical who desire to have sex with their sister, this would be socially acceptable (view spoiler)[ at least in certain places (hide spoiler)] since she, Pearl, is a slave. She however manages to evade them in favour of Stephen a Union soldier of Irish background. Since Pearl is passably white we are I suppose to assume that their ending will be happy ever after. And one can look at this as an optimistic ending - eventually the USA will come to a more perfect union, or a pessimistic ending - marital relations are possible only because the black woman passes for white, or one can feel that the XIXth century was the XIXth century and the XXth century looked back on that with its own eyes while the XXIst century will find its own way to somewhere (view spoiler)[ or you could read it for yourself and make up your own mind (hide spoiler)]. The novel has a fairly brisk pace and shows the age of total war coinciding with the cusp of a modern era more generally, the ending of slavery, the development of surgery, the appearance of photography. There is I understand an overlap of characters with some of Doctorow's other novels, but it is essentially free standing, but unfortunately far less striking than Ragtime where the guys who crowd a tree like crows to catch a glimpse of a ball game crow about in my imagination still, and Ragtime's characters, possibly due to the fin de siecle heavy eating they engaged in, still have a tangibility to them, while the people of the March are more like figures in the fog to me. One for the completists I suppose.

  • Mana Neyestani
    2019-02-13 20:55

    رگتایم را نخوانده ام همچنین بیلی بت‌گیت را. در واقع پیش‌روی اولین تجربه داکترو خوانی من است. کتاب را دوست داشتم هرچند قدری مکانیکی است و شخصیت ها همه یک‌اندازه جاندار و خوب از کار درنیامده اند. موفقیت داکترو این است که توانسته اصلی ترین شخصیت رمانش را خوب و قابل باور بسازد. این اصلی ترین شخصیت نه پرل دختر دورگه سیاه‌پوست است نه عاشق اش استیون والش، نه دختر قاضی تامپسن است نه ویل و آرلی سربازهای فراری و نه حتی ژنرال شرمن افسانه‌ای . شخصیت اصلی، خود پیش‌روی است، حرکت ارتش اتحادیه به سمت سرزمینهای جنوب که به‌قول داکترو مثل داسی بنیان آن چه را از فرهنگ و تمدن است خوب و بد با هم می‌کند و از بین می‌برد. این پیش‌روی مثل موجودی زنده است. پیکره ای واحد که اندام هایش را در مرغزارها کشتزارها و جنگلها پراکنده، برای خودش سلسله اعصابی دارد و مغزی متفکر که همان ژنرال شرمن استراتژیست بزرگ ارتش کت‌ابی ها باشد. اما شرمن هم بنظر می‌اید که بر اندام این جانور شصت‌هزار نفری انطور که باید تسلط و فرمانروایی ندارد. بازوها بسیاری مواقع از اختیار خارج می‌شوند، هرج و مرج و نافرمانی حاکم می‌شود،‌ مزارع و خانه ها سوزانده می‌شود، غارت‌ها صورت می‌گیرد و مردم قربانی خشونت و تجاوزی عنان گسیخته می‌شوند. این جنگ است و گریزی نیست. یکسو قانون غیرانسانی برده داری قرار دارد و سوی دیگر جنگی مرگبار که بسیاری را به کام مرگ می فرستد. بعد از تجربه جنگ‌های اخیر امریکا با عراق و افغانستان و در ‍آستانه جنگ محتمل با سوریه که همچنان آرمانهای متعالی اخلاقی و بشری را به عنوان بهانه بر پیشانی دارد عجیب نیست که روشنفکری چون داکترو رو به داستانی درباره جنگهای داخلی بیاورد و ترسها و تردیدهای اخلاقی و سوالاتش را در قالب آن مطرح کند. داکترو به تناوب از اندام های این موجود (پیش‌روی) به مغز و از مغز به اعصاب و دوباره به اندام‌ها حرکت می‌کند و داستانک هایی از هر بخش و قسمت تعریف می‌کند. بعضی از این داستانک‌ها با مرگ نابهنگام شخصیتها درخلال نبردها ناقص و ناتمام می‌مانند و هرگز به نتیجه نمی‌رسند. این خاصیت جنگ است که انسانها را به قصه های ناتمام تبدیل می‌کند.

  • Jean Poulos
    2019-01-25 21:07

    Doctorow turns his masterful writing ability to the 1864 March of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman. Sherman burned Atlanta and then marched his Union Army of sixty thousand through Georgia and up the Carolinas. The troops lived off the land, pillaging and demolishing cities along the way.Doctorow has provided the reader with an enormous caste of unforgettable characters, white, black, men, women and children. The key cast is Sherman, Colonel Sartorius a Union regimental surgeon, Emily Thompson, the dispossessed daughter of a George Supreme Court Judge, the two misfit soldiers Arty and Will, and last but not least, Pearl the beautiful freed slave girl. The author provides a stunning description of the countless victims swept up in the violence of a country at war with itself.My mind wanders from Doctorow’s descriptions of the families displaced by civil war to what I was watching daily on T.V. of the civil war refugees fleeing Syria to Europe. The book won the National Book Critics Award and the 2005 PEN/Faulkner award and was a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize. I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. Joe Morton did a good job narrating the book.

  • Amy
    2019-02-11 18:53

    Like Ragtime, The March portrays a historical episode through a diverse group of characters (including Coalhouse Wallker, Sr.). In this case, the piece of history is centered around Sherman's Union Army following the burning of Atlanta. Characters include Union Officers, confederate soldiers, former slaves, and Southern women who join the march as nurses. Although it was well-written, I found that the number of characters made it a little difficult to follow, and I didn't really get attached to any of them.

  • Armin Hennig
    2019-02-16 20:57

    Shermans Feuerwalze rast durch das mittlere Drittel von Vom Winde verweht und streift dabei das Leben von Scarlett und Co, bzw. führt zu gewaltigen Umwälzungen bzw. dem Ende des alten Südens. Doctorows Roman setzt dort ein, wo für Margret Mitchell Endstation ist und begleitet den legendären General und zahlreiche Menschen, deren Leben durch seinen Feldzug beeinflusst oder beeinträchtigt wird, auf seinem weiteren Weg bis Kriegsende. Das Konzept hat mich auf Anhieb angesprochen, auch weil ich neugierig darauf war wie das Leben im Bürgerkrieg anderswo weiter geht.Ich hatte auch das Bedürfnis nach einem weiter gefassten gesellschaftlichen Horizont. Mit befreiten Sklaven, aus ihrem gewohnten Leben geworfenen Südstaaten-Damen, die sich neu erfinden und zwei Todeskandidaten, die permanent die Seiten wechseln müssen, um am Leben zu bleiben, bietet Doctorov ein breites Personenpanorama, das er um weitere Facetten bereichert, während er manche Helden der ersten Seiten auf der Strecke bleiben lässt. Beim Loslassen von nicht mehr benötigten Charakteren geht der Autor so gnadenlos zu Werke wie ein Zehn-kleine-Negerlein-Krimi-Schreiberling. Dabei gelingen ihn einige bezeichnende und doch so unnötig zufällige Tode. Etwa, wenn der Pflanzer John Jameson, der sich so vorsorglich auf die bevor stehende Niederlage der Konförderierten vorbereitet und seine Wertsachen in den Magazinen eines Baumwollhändlers vor den üblichen Plünderungsorgien in Sicherheit gebracht hat, von Shermanns Beschlagnahme der Baumwolle überrascht wird. Als er daraufhin Händel mit einem der Posten anfängt, statt die Sache auf höherer Ebene zu klären, erhält er einen Kolbenstoß, der ihn letztlich das Leben kosten wird. Sein nahezu weißes Sklavenkind Pearl, das sich inzwischen der Pflegeeinheit um Doktor Wrede Sartorius angeschlossen hat ist während der hoffnungslosen Notoperation zugegen und kümmert sich im weiteren Verlauf um die halbirre Stiefmami und macht die ehemalige Herrschaft für den Pflegebereich dienstbar. Für solche Konstellationen könnte man dem Buch glatt fünf Sterne geben. Aber leider ist E.L. Docotorow in jeder Hinsicht das Gegenteil von Margaret Mitchell, der angesichts mancher Yankee-Ungerechtigkeiten gegenüber den Südstaaten schon mal derart die Gäule durchgehen, dass sie komplett aus der Rolle fällt. Als Autor hält er in seiner Montage von Momentaufnahmen zu sehr Distanz und will unter keinen Umständen jemand ein Unrecht antun, sogar die überall schlecht angeschriebene Mrs. Lincoln kommt mit Sartorius Diagnose als unangenehme Neurasthenikerin einigermaßen glimpflich davon.Beim nominellen Schurken, dem Deserteur Arly, dessen untrüglichr Überlebensinstinkt zunächst als irgendwie positiv erscheint, geht Doctorov schrittweise auf Distanz. Zunächst, indem der medizinische Sachverstand vo Sartorius erkennt, dass Arly und Will viel zu gut genährt für Kriegsgefangene sind, dann durch einen Perspektivwechsel. Nach Wills Tod übernimmt Arly die Identität des Kriegsknipsers Culp und reist dem General mit einer fixen Idee hinterher, während der fachlich versierte schwarze Gehilfe Calvin nur über das Verhalten des Geiselnehmers wundern kann, der seinen Lehrmeister auf dem Gewissen hat. In seinem skrupellosen Wahnsinn erinnert Arly ein wenig an Elkannah Bent, den Bösewicht aus Fackeln im Sturm, einem der Südstaatenepen von John Jakes, die, bei näherer Betrachtung, wohl auch als Folie bei der Entwicklung der Vorgeschichte von zahlreichen Gestalten aus dem Doctorow-Universum gedient haben.Diese Ebene des Wiedererkennens fehlt mir, seit dem sprachlich vollkommen missratenen Billy Bathgate stand der Autor bei mir auf der schwarzen Liste, der über weite Strecken allzu distanzierte Ansatz beim sich doch ziemlich lange und unbefriedigend hinziehende Marsch mit zuletzt zu viel Häppie End (wie bei BB) ist keine Empfehlung für einen dritten Versuch. Jedenfalls nicht so schnell.

  • Ankit Saxena
    2019-01-31 22:10

    This Novel is Actually a Must read, for every native American, at-least.This is my first full time war novel and I enjoyed it quite much but there was one thing that isn't suits to me was that the writing pattern. That was very hard to read when you don't understand for who was saying what? There was no Quoted statements as the pattern accustomed by now.For rest the novel was worth reading if you need to understand the Civil war times and how the Confederate states of America become the part of one country as United States of America?For me its: 3.0/5.0

  • Karen Alexander
    2019-02-05 19:59

    E. L. Doctorow is a master storyteller. The Civil War is the main story of this novel, but there are smaller personal stories as well. Some characters are sad and broken, others are strong and perform their assigned tasks with honor, and some are funny and provide comic relief. In the beginning it was a little confusing trying to understand what commander was marching where and if they are marching north, south, east or west. Then the main characters become more defined and you become more invested in their stories or struggles. The March is a great name for this book because this was a huge movement of men, animals and materials. These thousands of men overran everything in their path. They were an immense force, not always strong, but cold, wet, bleeding and dying. In the end the reader has a fuller appreciation and understanding of the Civil War, a very important part of American history. This is the 5th E. L. Doctorow book that I have read and after reading The March I'm going to read everything that he has written.

  • Mark
    2019-02-14 16:05

    I kind of feel about this book the way I felt about the movie "The Departed". It certainly had the look and feel of a Scorsese movie, but without the heart; like he was going through the motions. This has the feel of a Doctorow book, it is historical fiction with real characters interspersed with imaginary ones, but it was vaguely unsatisfying. Stylistically he still creates an effective vehicle, and I read it from beginning to end fairly quickly; but very little in it either created real emotion or captured my complete interest. It is set in during Sherman's march to the sea during the Civil War, as seen through the eyes of dozens of charcters from North and South, both black and white, including General Sherman, the real (and total idiot) calvaryman General Kilpatrick, a former slave named Pearl, an Army surgeon and a half dozen others. He portrays the dirt, confusion and blood of war convincingly; but the charcters are too many and too thinly drawn to capture our interest. There is also too little context or back story for us to really care about what is happening to most of them (Pearl is perhaps the exception). There are moments where you feel like you are witnessing history (the burning of Columbia comes to mind), but it is not enough for me to fully recommend. This book is mostly of interest to civil war buffs, and for those craving the real Doctorow, re-read Ragtime . . .

  • Tung
    2019-01-27 17:02

    The winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Faulkner (as well as a Pulitzer finalist), The March is a vivid imagining of General Sherman’s destructive march through the south at the tail end of the Civil War. Doctorow describes the rampant pillaging and razing of southern towns from Georgia to South Carolina up through North Carolina in all their manic frenzy. What Doctorow does admirably well is his portrayal of Sherman’s army as this living organism. In one scene he describes it as a barbaric, riotous mob; in another scene he paints the army as an ocean tide sweeping through town; in another scene he describes it as a herd of animals quietly grazing. The lens through which we see this living beast move through the south are the perspectives of a wide-ranging cast of characters: Pearl, a mixed-race child born from a plantation owner and one of his slaves; Emily, the daughter of a Southern judge, and a woman of the upper class struggling with the loss of her world; Arly, a Southern opportunist who makes good use of the chaos of war to jump from identity to identity to survive; Wrede Sartorius, an army surgeon with a stoic focus on his medical skills without thought to the greater horrors of the war going around him; and even General Sherman himself, portrayed as a moody and philosophical mad genius. Doctorow jumps from storyline to storyline, some connecting, others remaining separate. But Doctorow doesn’t fixate on any one narrative, and even kills off a number of characters without warning – some after a dozen pages; one character dying after having been introduced at the beginning and carried through more than a 1/3 of the book. Because the characters themselves are only pieces of the larger story; the main character is still the Union army and its devastating journey. The prose moves seamlessly between describing the environs to describing the frenzied actions to describing different characters’ thought processes and feelings – the prose itself feels alive, mirroring the Union forces. This book belongs in the same class of Civil War literature with Killer Angels, Andersonville, and the like. Highly recommended.

  • Joy H.
    2019-01-26 21:03

    _The March_ (2005) by E.L. Doctorow "This is an historical fiction account of General Sherman's military march through the South during the American Civil War." (from a member review at LibraryThing)Great read! Now I'm motivated to read Doctorow's other books.I loved the characters in this book. I skimmed over the geographical details which mapped out the Civil War battle locations and the war strategies. I was mostly engrossed in the characters and their fate.I found an interesting review of the book at:, at Wiki I found the following interesting info:==================================================="... several characters in the novel are connected or reused from other Doctorow novels. The impassive Colonel Sartorious hails from The Waterworks: A Novel and the freed slave Coalhouse Walker is the ostensible father of Ragtime’s jazz pianist Coalhouse Walker Jr. While these references are not crucial to the plot, they hint at a wider mythology for the novel in a fashion similar to William Faulkner."FROM:[Added more shelves and edited a bit on 4/8/11]

  • Erik Graff
    2019-02-15 16:53

    I have enjoyed everything I've read by Doctorow and, having just opened two histories about the American Civil War and finding this novel about the period for sale at a local bookstore, I picked this additional book by him up, adopting it as a bedtime supplement to the week's studies. I wasn't disappointed.The title refers to W.T. Sherman's 'march to the sea', specifically to the path of his army from Georgia through the Carolinas up through the assassination of Lincoln and Lee's surrender to Grant in Virginia. Sherman himself is treated sympathetically and serves as one of a dozen or so major characters, black and white, followed in the narrative. Interestingly, about half the characters are more and less attached in one way or another to the Medical Corps of the Union Army, giving a distinctive tone to Doctorow's treatment of war. There's little glory here. Noteworthy also is his having made several of his major characters African-American, most of them slaves, most of them recently liberated. For me, it was one of them, Pearl, who was the most engaging of his characters.

  • Hadrian
    2019-02-22 15:07

    I always seem to find myself enjoying Doctorow's technical proficiency and his beautiful writing, but his character writing falls flat. They almost seem cliched, which is a shame and they stand out horribly against the realities of war and the beautiful writing. It's a shame. I want so much to like Doctorow, but something keeps me from it each time I try.

  • Janet
    2019-02-11 23:09

    Well-written novel about Gen.Sherman's march through the Carolinas,after destroying the city of Atlanta.It validates Sherman's statement that "war is hell", not only for the soldiers on each side but also for the civilians,freed slaves,the wounded,the medical staff. I'm planning to read more by this author.

  • Michael Allan Scott
    2019-02-05 16:54

    If you have a palate for Civil War historical fiction, you won’t find a more engaging read.

  • Sean Chick
    2019-01-27 20:59

    This is a hard one to rate. Some passages soared with poetry, pathos, wisdom, and humor. Others were down right boring. Pearl is meant to be the heroine, but I never found her compelling. She reminded me of Jon Snow: a dull empty vessel the reader is meant to pour themselves into. The novel is very accurate until the last 50 or so pages. It ends with an attempt on Sherman's life, the usual Christ symbolism associated with Lincoln, Sherman's un-Sherman like musings on the war, and the portrayal of Grant as unambitious. Sherman meets Johnston, but not Beauregard, Hampton, or Breckinridge, which I was looking forward to. Then I realized that the previous 220 pages were a mass swirl of death, destruction, emotions, and feeling. The final part is a desperate attempt to make the march sacred. Fortunately, Doctorow is human enough to avoid the latest impulse of full demonization of the Confederacy, and the final pages do have some great moments, in particular his portrayal of Lincoln's death. Yet, what was going to be classic fell away at the end. The American impulse for "a tragedy with a happy ending" continues unabated. A novel of surprising accuracy and empathy became a bit saccharine at the end.Yet, I do not wish to sound too harsh. This was a fine book, and one of the best works of historical fiction I have ever read.

  • Frabe
    2019-02-13 17:09

    “La marcia” è quella che nella fase finale della guerra civile americana vide impegnati lungo sessanta miglia, in Georgia, Sud Carolina e Nord Carolina, sessantamila nordisti agli ordini del generale William Sherman: una marcia di guerra, e dunque di morte, ma anche di liberazione dei neri del sud dalla schiavitù, e dunque della loro rinascita come uomini liberi.Il romanzo propone una costellazione di frammenti e una ridda di personaggi: troppi, gli uni e gli altri; nella progressione faticosa, l’unitarietà è demandata al lettore, peraltro già infastidito da una prosa poco scorrevole, anche per scelte stilistiche discutibili come quella del discorso diretto non segnalato da punteggiatura… Insomma: ho gradito poco.