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Thomas Rowlands George B. McClellan and Civil War History: In the Shadow of Grant and Sherman - Book Report/Review Example

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The purpose of the following report is to critically analyze a book entitled "George B. McClellan and Civil War History" written by Thomas J. Rowland.  Specifically, the writer of the review attempts to investigate the role of George B. McClellan's figure in the Civil War…
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Thomas Rowlands George B. McClellan and Civil War History: In the Shadow of Grant and Sherman
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Download file to see previous pages George Brinton McClellan held different positions during different phases in his careers such as being the commander of all Union armies, governor of New Jersey, a presidential candidate and much else. He was considered to be the most modern manager ever produced during the Civil war, but is critically remembered for his key managerial failings –He is also famous for having repeatedly disappointed Lincoln who had somehow put his trust in him.
He was also a big let down for the politicians and the public in general. The animosity he attracted persists even today among the present generation of historians and hence even modern writers fail to hold scholarly distance from McClellan.
Thomas J. Rowland’s book is not so much an inquiry as it is a review of some of the gross mistakes or categorical errors committed on the part of McClellan. The book brims with professional courtesy but yet at the same time exposes the not so good historical practices of McClellan chapter after chapter.
Chapter two of Rowland’s book describes this journey as a “Foray into the twilight zone” emphasizing the weakest link in modern McClellanology. In a most scholarly manner, Rowland breaks down various claims made by other historians who portrayed McClellan to be a coward, messianic, a religious fanatic, a nasty person and one who is paranoid.
As the subtitle aptly suggests “In the Shadow of Grant and Sherman”, Rowland brings before us the wartime records of Grant and Sherman, and tells us how those records were handled by McClellan critics, which help to provide counterpoints for restoring the right perspective. The language used by Rowland is both simple and easy to understand, not only by the general public but also by Civil War specialists.
Speaking of the context in which McClellan dealt with some of the difficulties that were faced in the first 15 months of the war by the Federal army, not much attention is paid to his early tenure which deprived him of leading the seasoned, matured and well trained civilian soldiers who were very much adapted to the modern or new age warfare “that later commanders of the Army of the Potomac had."   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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