The Bonfire by Marc Wortman
“We Americans have never lost a war.”
George C Scott as Patton
“George Patton’s grandfather was in Lee’s army of Northern Virginia and he certainly lost a war”.
Shelby Foote, author of a three volume history of the Civil War
There is nothing better than discovering completely by happenstance a book that cranks a windows open on a topic of great interest. I found such a book. It seems such a small word “book” particularly when it opens a window on a world for you to contemplate.
We are the United States but no one can ever say we are the Same States. Since the dawn of this dream, the populous of the U.S. struggled with the reality of slavery. The Founding Fathers set the entire issue aside as perhaps there were too many other continuous issues to resolve and probably they knew there could be no agreement on this topic. Heck, George Washington owned at least 277 human beings and Thomas Jefferson, the man who wrote the revolutionary line, ‘all men are created equal” owned hundreds.
So it was not until the 5th President, Abraham Lincoln, when areas began to agitate for statehood did this issue of ‘states rights’ fracture the tenuous ties that bind this diverse land and population. Actually it was prior to Abraham Lincoln took office did South Carolina seceded from the Union – who knew? State rights is in quotes as many Southern's will assert that the Civil War was NOT about slavery but states rights. Hm? My unstated question (don’t want to get my head shot off), is would we have gone to war if the demanded right was not the ownership of fellow human beings?
Marc Wortman’s The Bonfire: The Burning and Siege of Atlanta brings the drama and complexity of this period to life. Few books captivate the heart and mind the way this one does. Mr. Wortman makes my mind say WOW! Yes, a screaming WOW! Mr. Wortman tells the story of Atlanta, Georgia from its Indian civilization origins through and beyond Atlanta’s burning by Sherman – hear the Southerns hsssssss. Mr. Wortman tells the tale in fascinating detail with incredible research into the people who inhabited this complex emotionally charged, deadly period of U.S. history. Can’t say enough!