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By Vanessa V. Friedman
Updated April 21, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Shrouds of Glory

type
  • Book

SHROUDS OF GLORY Winston Groom (Atlantic Monthly Press, $23) In between thinking up more Gumpisms, the mind from whence sprang America’s latest idiot idol has turned its focus to another type of hero: the Civil War general. Though young for a Confederate general, the handsome, foolhardy, one-legged John Bell Hood was given responsibility and troops well beyond his 33 years. Unfortunately, history is less manipulable than fiction, and the Civil War, being a long, complicated, and often illogical endeavor, does not lend itself easily to slight biography, which is what this book is. Simply getting Hood from one battle to the next requires so much rudimentary explanation of logistics that the man himself spends long periods by the wayside. And Groom’s light touch and wide-eyed prose work against him here, in the heat of battle, where very little was ever light and most eyes were closed. Even the most violent and bloody confrontation comes off as soporific. Hood may well have been one of the most colorful characters of the War Between the States, but that does not necessarily make him a good literary character. C -Vanessa V. Friedman

Shrouds of Glory

type
  • Book
genre
author
  • Winston Groom

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