William Tecumseh Sherman has always been known as an odd duck: depressive, erratic, prone to fits of mania and abiding personal grudges. He also married his sister, or at least his foster sister, though he passed their long periods of duty-related separation with whatever women were locally available. A new biography by the respected military-history writer Robert L. O’Connell revisits this well-known story, telling it again.
WAR HAS consistently sparked cartoonists to do the most inspired work in their medium. By 1939, when newspaper comics were still primarily known as “the funnies,” Milton Caniff used his Terry and the Pirates kids’ adventure strip to depict the Japanese invasion of Manchuria with unprecedented—and
EDSEL FORD FIRST saw the B-24 Liberator in January 1941. The supervisors of the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation’s plant invited him to climb aboard. So he clambered into the claustrophobic cockpit, through the extended belly of the plane, past the massive bomb bay, and back into the San Diego
ANNE CARSON, IN GRIEF LESSONS—her extraordinarily bold translations of Euripides—writes, “Why does tragedy exist? Because you are full of rage. Why are you full of rage? Because you are full of grief.” This is absolutely right. Antigone rages because she is full of grief for her brother Polynices,
BY THE AGE OF THIRTEEN, bloodthirsty baby-boomer bookworm that I was, I was already well read in the literature of World War II, with particular concentration on accounts of POW-camp breakouts and the exploits of fighter pilots. (My father had served in the Army Air Forces.) So my eye was easily
When Gloria Emerson's sprawling portrait of the United States in the wake of the Vietnam War was first published, it was hailed as a classic. But it also inspired some strikingly hostile reviews. This vastly polarized response would suggest that one of Emerson’s major arguments—she insisted, in despair and disgust, that the Vietnam War had made no significant impact on America or Americans—might itself be wrong.
ALL MEN MUST DIE. A few months ago, posters emblazoned with this slogan began cropping up around New York, auguring both the doom that is our mortal lot and the season premiere of Game of Thrones. Like all things related to Game of Thrones, the ads were embraced with great enthusiasm and a striking
It would be easy to overlook the fact that communist literature is fictional, and, like most good fiction, bears, at least intermittently, some resemblance to the particulars of our real world. There is the desperation of the toiling many, alongside the indifference of the privileged few, and rounded out by the inability, ever, by anyone, to find a lasting solution.
I read only one war novel while I was writing my own. There were reasons: I didn’t want to hear another novelist’s voice as I was trying to find my own way into a soldier’s mind. Also, my book is about a marine coming home from Iraq, and every war has its own weather and terrain, its own equipment and language.