Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Whirlwind of War by Stephen B. Oates

Front Cover 

I just finished reading one of the best books I have ever read on the Civil War. The Whirlwind of War by Stephen B. Oats is a very readable, intensively researched and documented, masterpiece. Oates employs a unique approach to the book's format--he writes in the first person from the views of leading characters in the Civil War such as Abraham Lincoln, U. S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, even John Wilkes Boothe. This he carries off masterfully with every event  portrayed meticulously documented and backed up by letters, diaries, biographies, and other well respected primary and secondary books and manuscripts. I am considering writing Hiram's Heart, the third book in my Civil War trilogy, using this first person viewpoint style with Hiram Terman, my ancestor as the main character supported by others such as Isaiah, Bushey, Seth, and other characters from Hiram's Honor and Hiram's Hope.  I certainly have a good example to try to emulate in this awesome book.  Michael Shara's novel The Killer Angels was also written in this way as was David Grub's novel The Voices of Glory and Cynthia Bass's novel Sherman's March.  I have read Shara's novel but need to check out the books by Grub and by Bass.