The Bonfire

The Bonfire : The Siege and Burning of Atlanta

3.73 (169 ratings by Goodreads)
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The destruction of Atlanta is an iconic moment in American historyit was the centerpiece of Gone with the Wind. But though the epic sieges of Leningrad, Stalingrad, and Berlin have all been explored in bestselling books, the one great American example has been treated only cursorily in more general histories. Marc Wortman remedies that conspicuous absence in grand fashion with The Bonfire, an absorbing narrative history told through the points of view of key participants both Confederate and Union. The Bonfire reveals an Atlanta of unexpected paradoxes: a new mercantile city dependent on the primitive institution of slavery; governed by a pro-Union mayor, James Calhoun, whose cousin was a famous defender of the South. When he surrendered the city to General Sherman after forty-four terrible days, Calhoun was accompanied by Bob Yancey, a black slave likely the son of Union advocate Daniel Webster. Atlanta was both the last of the medieval city sieges and the first modern urban devastation. From its ashes, a new South would more

Product details

  • Hardback | 464 pages
  • 152.4 x 233.68 x 43.18mm | 703.06g
  • PublicAffairs,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, maps, plans
  • 1586484826
  • 9781586484828
  • 2,461,745

About Marc Wortman

Marc Wortman is the author of The Millionaires' Unit: The Aristocratic Flyboys Who Fought the Great War and Invented American Air Power, now in development as a feature film. An award-winning freelance writer, his work has appeared in numerous national magazines. He has taught literature and writing at Princeton University. He lives in New Haven with his wife, daughter, and more

Review quote

James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom "Next to Richmond, Atlanta was the most important Confederate city by 1864. Its fall in September of that year signaled the beginning of the end for the Confederacy. Among the many books about General William T. Sherman's Atlanta campaign, The Bonfire stands out for its focus on the experience of Atlantans themselves. Marc Wortman's vivid narrative proves that war is indeed hell."show more

Rating details

169 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 23% (39)
4 39% (66)
3 28% (48)
2 7% (12)
1 2% (4)
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