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RE: [civilwarwest] Book Recommendation - Stealing the General

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  • Bill Gower
    History Book Club has a deal right now until December 1. All books and they have a good selection of CW books are 9.99 and no payments dues until March 1.
    Message 1 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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      History Book Club has a deal right now until December 1.  All books and they have a good selection of CW books are 9.99 and no payments dues until March 1.  www.historybookclub.com         Forgive the commercial, I get nothing from it, I am just a satisfied customer.

       

       

      Bill

       

       


      From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of keeno2@...
      Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 9:43 PM
      To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Book Recommendation - Stealing the General

       

      In a message dated 10/31/2006 8:37:35 PM Central Standard Time, billgower@charter. net writes:

      My only background on this event is the 1952 Walt Disney movie starring Fess Parker, so I am anxious to read the book and find out more about this raid.

      Sounds really worthwhile, Bill. Will look for a deal on it.

      Ken

    • basecat1@aol.com
      In a message dated 10/31/2006 9:37:41 PM Eastern Standard Time, billgower@charter.net writes: Today I received in the mail, a newly published book entitled
      Message 2 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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        In a message dated 10/31/2006 9:37:41 PM Eastern Standard Time, billgower@... writes:

        Today I received in the mail, a newly published book entitled “Stealing the General” by Russell S. Bonds.  It’s approximately 374 pages with lots of footnotes.  His goal is to tell the story of the soldiers who attempted to steal the General and their fate.  I hadn’t realized this but many of the men on this raid received the Medal of Honor, which was given for the first time in U.S. History.  James M. McPherson has this to say about the book, “The Great Locomotive Chase has been the stuff of legend and the darling of Hollywood .  Now we have a solid history of the Andrews Raid.  Russell S. Bond’s stirring account makes clear why the raid failed and what happened to the raiders.”  My only background on this event is the 1952 Walt Disney movie starring Fess Parker, so I am anxious to read the book and find out more about this raid.

        Bill

         
        Bill,
         
        Have already ordered a copy here, and while I have yet to receive it, am looking forward to reading it very much.  I do have some older books and novels on the raid, but they came out about 50 years ago, and am glad the event is being looked into again.
         
        Hope all is well.
         
        Regards from the Garden State,
         
        Steve Basic
      • keeno2@aol.com
        In a message dated 11/1/2006 8:00:15 AM Central Standard Time, billgower@charter.net writes: History Book Club has a deal right now until December 1. All
        Message 3 of 13 , Nov 1, 2006
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          In a message dated 11/1/2006 8:00:15 AM Central Standard Time, billgower@... writes:

          History Book Club has a deal right now until December 1.  All books and they have a good selection of CW books are 9.99 and no payments dues until March 1.  http://www.historybookclub.com/         Forgive the commercial, I get nothing from it, I am just a satisfied customer.

          Thanks for the heads up. As a satisfied customer myself, I will be visiting them before signing off.
          Ken
        • russellsbonds
          Dear Bill, Ken, Bob, Tom and Steve: I m the author of Stealing the General, and I recently discovered your group here. Thanks, Bill, for mentioning the book,
          Message 4 of 13 , Nov 8, 2006
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            Dear Bill, Ken, Bob, Tom and Steve:

            I'm the author of Stealing the General, and I recently discovered
            your group here. Thanks, Bill, for mentioning the book, and to all
            of you who have ordered it. Please post here or send me an e-mail at
            rbonds@... and let me know if you enjoy the book.

            I'm a lifelong Georgia resident--I grew up almost literally in the
            shadow of Kennesaw Mountain--and like all of you am a student of the
            war in the (still overlooked) West. Also, I'm considering a number
            of ideas for my next book topic. If any of you have a thought on a
            Civil War story, battle or character that deserves more attention or
            a new narrative treatment, please let me know.

            Thanks again; I look forward to participating in the group.

            Warmest regards,
            Russ Bonds

            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Gower" <billgower@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Today I received in the mail, a newly published book
            entitled "Stealing the
            > General" by Russell S. Bonds. It's approximately 374 pages with
            lots of
            > footnotes. His goal is to tell the story of the soldiers who
            attempted to
            > steal the General and their fate. I hadn't realized this but many
            of the
            > men on this raid received the Medal of Honor, which was given for
            the first
            > time in U.S. History. James M. McPherson has this to say about the
            book,
            > "The Great Locomotive Chase has been the stuff of legend and the
            darling of
            > Hollywood. Now we have a solid history of the Andrews Raid.
            Russell S.
            > Bond's stirring account makes clear why the raid failed and what
            happened to
            > the raiders." My only background on this event is the 1952 Walt
            Disney
            > movie starring Fess Parker, so I am anxious to read the book and
            find out
            > more about this raid.
            >
            >
            >
            > Bill
            >
          • Bill Gower
            The only disappointing thing I have to say about the book is that because I know the outcome, I am trying to cheer the guys on and want them to get away but I
            Message 5 of 13 , Nov 8, 2006
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              The only disappointing thing I have to say about the book is that because I know the outcome, I am trying to cheer the guys on and want them to get away but I know that it is futile.  It seems like what started out as a “well-thought” out plan is falling apart because of silly mistakes that are occurring after the locomotive is stolen.  I have enjoyed the background info that you have provided on cities, people and the railroad.  I am at the point where the conductor and his compatriots are riding the handcar and have just reached the locomotive sitting at the siding of the cut-off.  I think that one of the problems that I see happening is that Andrews and the others started becoming cocky and thinking that it was all over instead of causing more damage to the RR and trying to make better time.

               

               

              Bill

               

               


              From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of russellsbonds
              Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2006 9:35 AM
              To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Book Recommendation - Stealing the General

               

              Dear Bill, Ken, Bob, Tom and Steve:

              I'm the author of Stealing the General, and I recently discovered
              your group here. Thanks, Bill, for mentioning the book, and to all
              of you who have ordered it. Please post here or send me an e-mail at
              rbonds@.... com and let me know if you enjoy the book.

              I'm a lifelong Georgia resident--I grew up almost literally in the
              shadow of Kennesaw Mountain --and like all of you am a student of the
              war in the (still overlooked) West. Also, I'm considering a number
              of ideas for my next book topic. If any of you have a thought on a
              Civil War story, battle or character that deserves more attention or
              a new narrative treatment, please let me know.

              Thanks again; I look forward to participating in the group.

              Warmest regards,
              Russ Bonds

              --- In civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com, "Bill Gower" <billgower@. ..>
              wrote:

              >
              > Today I received in the mail, a newly published book
              entitled "Stealing the
              > General" by Russell S. Bonds. It's approximately 374 pages with
              lots of
              > footnotes. His goal is to tell the story of the soldiers who
              attempted to
              > steal the General and their fate. I hadn't realized this but many
              of the
              > men on this raid received the Medal of Honor, which was given for
              the first
              > time in U.S. History. James M. McPherson has this to say about the
              book,
              > "The Great Locomotive Chase has been the stuff of legend and the
              darling of
              > Hollywood .
              Now we have a solid history of the Andrews Raid.
              Russell S.
              > Bond's stirring account makes clear why the raid failed and what
              happened to
              > the raiders." My only background on this event is the 1952 Walt
              Disney
              > movie starring Fess Parker, so I am anxious to read the book and
              find out
              > more about this raid.
              >
              >
              >
              > Bill
              >

            • basecat1@aol.com
              In a message dated 11/8/2006 9:41:02 AM Eastern Standard Time, jillandruss@bellsouth.net writes: Dear Bill, Ken, Bob, Tom and Steve: I m the author of
              Message 6 of 13 , Nov 8, 2006
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                In a message dated 11/8/2006 9:41:02 AM Eastern Standard Time, jillandruss@... writes:
                Dear Bill, Ken, Bob, Tom and Steve:

                I'm the author of Stealing the General, and I recently discovered
                your group here. Thanks, Bill, for mentioning the book, and to all
                of you who have ordered it. Please post here or send me an e-mail at
                rbonds@.... com and let me know if you enjoy the book.

                I'm a lifelong Georgia resident--I grew up almost literally in the
                shadow of Kennesaw Mountain--and like all of you am a student of the
                war in the (still overlooked) West. Also, I'm considering a number
                of ideas for my next book topic. If any of you have a thought on a
                Civil War story, battle or character that deserves more attention or
                a new narrative treatment, please let me know.

                Thanks again; I look forward to participating in the group.

                Warmest regards,
                Russ Bonds
                 
                Russ,
                 
                Got my copy of the book last week, and I look forward to reading it.  If you are interested, we do have a CW chat room, and we do have book chats on CW books.  When a book is chosen, we "assign" homework, as in a few chapters to read each week for the discussion.  The topic of your book is quite a popular one for many who visit there, and am sure those involved would enjoy a chat on this event of the Civil War.
                 
                If this is something you wish to participate in, please let me or my fellow moderator ks know, and we will schedule a discussion on the book accordingly.
                 
                Best of luck with the book, and welcome aboard! :)
                 
                Regards from the Garden State,
                 
                Steve Basic
              • Tom Mix
                Steve, Each December we have quite an excellent discussion of all areas of Civil War books especially for Christmas. I have found many great recommendations
                Message 7 of 13 , Nov 13, 2006
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                  Steve,

                  Each December we have quite an excellent discussion of all areas of Civil War books especially for Christmas.  I have found many great recommendations during that time, and we are near there if it is again ok with our esteemed moderators this year.

                   

                  (my computer has been out for about a week but it is now back and healthy again)

                  Tom

                   

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of basecat1@...
                  Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2006 11:56 PM
                  To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Book Recommendation - Stealing the General

                   

                  In a message dated 11/8/2006 9:41:02 AM Eastern Standard Time, jillandruss@ bellsouth. net writes:

                  Dear Bill, Ken, Bob, Tom and Steve:

                  I'm the author of Stealing the General, and I recently discovered
                  your group here. Thanks, Bill, for mentioning the book, and to all
                  of you who have ordered it. Please post here or send me an e-mail at
                  rbonds@.... com and let me know if you enjoy the book.

                  I'm a lifelong Georgia resident--I grew up almost literally in the
                  shadow of Kennesaw Mountain--and like all of you am a student of the
                  war in the (still overlooked) West. Also, I'm considering a number
                  of ideas for my next book topic. If any of you have a thought on a
                  Civil War story, battle or character that deserves more attention or
                  a new narrative treatment, please let me know.

                  Thanks again; I look forward to participating in the group.

                  Warmest regards,
                  Russ Bonds

                   

                  Russ,

                   

                  Got my copy of the book last week, and I look forward to reading it.  If you are interested, we do have a CW chat room, and we do have book chats on CW books.  When a book is chosen, we "assign" homework, as in a few chapters to read each week for the discussion.  The topic of your book is quite a popular one for many who visit there, and am sure those involved would enjoy a chat on this event of the Civil War.

                   

                  If this is something you wish to participate in, please let me or my fellow moderator ks know, and we will schedule a discussion on the book accordingly.

                   

                  Best of luck with the book, and welcome aboard! :)

                   

                  Regards from the Garden State,

                   

                  Steve Basic

                • basecat1@aol.com
                  In a message dated 11/13/2006 9:54:13 PM Eastern Standard Time, tmix@insightbb.com writes: Steve, Each December we have quite an excellent discussion of all
                  Message 8 of 13 , Nov 14, 2006
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                    In a message dated 11/13/2006 9:54:13 PM Eastern Standard Time, tmix@... writes:

                    Steve,

                    Each December we have quite an excellent discussion of all areas of Civil War books especially for Christmas.  I have found many great recommendations during that time, and we are near there if it is again ok with our esteemed moderators this year.

                     

                    (my computer has been out for about a week but it is now back and healthy again)

                    Tom

                     
                    Tom,
                     
                    They are great discussions, and always enjoy reading what books folks recommend etc. :)
                     
                    Hope all is well.
                     
                    Regards from the Garden State,
                     
                    Steve Basic
                  • James W. Durney
                    Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor by Russell S. Bonds Product Details • Hardcover: 444 pages • Publisher:
                    Message 9 of 13 , Nov 17, 2006
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                      Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal
                      of Honor by Russell S. Bonds

                      Product Details
                      • Hardcover: 444 pages
                      • Publisher: Westholme Publishing (October 15, 2006)
                      • Language: English
                      • ISBN: 1594160333
                      A small failed raid in 1862 produced a long and complex history.
                      Along the way, this raid serves as the inspiration for two moves and
                      a number of books. "Stealing the General" is the latest addition to
                      that stack of books. Not having read the others, I cannot state
                      that it is the best but it has to be very close. Russell S. Bonds
                      tells a story that most of think we know. Along the way, he
                      corrects are misimpressions, fills in the blanks while adding story
                      lines we had no idea existed. All of this happens in the nicest,
                      most entertaining manner possible without once making us feel that
                      we do not know what is going on.

                      The book divides into four parts, The Plan, The Chase, Consequences
                      and Valor.

                      The Plan sets the stage detailing the reasons for the raid,
                      introducing the raiders and the hoped for results. Solid writing,
                      with attention to detail produces very real characters that the
                      reader can identify with and take a keen interest in. Brigadier
                      General Ormsby "Old Stars" Mitchell, one of the people that we know
                      nothing about, authorizes the raid. James Andrews, sometime spy,
                      sometime smuggler and possible Confederate agent is the author of
                      the plan and leader of the raid. The men volunteer from three Ohio
                      regiments, agreeing to slip behind enemy lines, destroy the railroad
                      cutting Chattanooga off from the Confederacy. That done, General
                      Mitchell's division will seize the city and the CSA's main East/West
                      railroad line. A strong point of this part is the author's
                      intelligent instruction on the contemporary mechanics of travel by
                      and view of railroads. Atlanta to Chattanooga is just under twelve
                      hours by train.

                      The Chase is what we have seen in the movies. It is the story of
                      taking of the train, the pursuit and capture of the raiders. The
                      book shows us the limitations of a 90-minute film and how little
                      history it contains. The Plan provided a good account of train
                      travel, allowing us to understand the chances both sides take and
                      the problems they encounter. This is a well-written history and
                      this is the most exciting part of the tale. The author takes the
                      time to correct misconceptions and lay the foundation for the legend
                      that follows. These side trips do not slow the on-rushing trains
                      but increase our understanding of the story to come.

                      The movies emphasize The Chase with a quick nod to Valor.
                      Consequences detail the imprisonment and military justice that the
                      raiders faced after capture. The conditions the raiders faced in
                      prison, the quality of their trails and the feelings of the people
                      are the backbone of this part of the book. The division between the
                      residents is graphically brought to light, as pro-Union and pro-
                      Confederate locals, vie to hang or help the raiders. A number of
                      the raiders are tried, commended and executed by hanging. Three of
                      the hangings are badly done, James Andrews' strangles while being
                      held off the ground. Twice a rope breaks and the men are hung a
                      second time. With the exception of Andrews, living or dieing seems
                      to be a matter of luck. Some raiders are tried, while others are
                      simply imprisoned. No logic seems to have been used to separate the
                      two groups. This part of the book is one of brutality and escapes
                      that compete with The Chase in daring. The escape and trek to
                      freedom of one group could be a stand-alone story. Those who did
                      not escape are exchanged after almost a year of captivity.

                      Valor begins with a short history of the Medal of Honor; these men
                      are the first to receive the medal. We follow the men on both sides
                      through the balance of their lives. We have hints along the way but
                      this part makes each player all the more real and human. Included
                      in this part is the birth of the legend and the in fighting between
                      the participants for the glory.

                      This is a well-balanced book, not about Union soldiers or
                      Confederates civilians but about "ordinary men, far from home,
                      called to do extraordinary things". This is the attraction of this
                      event and the reason we return to it so often. "Stealing the
                      General" is the story of these "ordinary men" and
                      that "extraordinary" event, well told, instructive and enjoyable.

                      This review is posted on Amazon.com. If you liked it, please take
                      the time to rate my review there. Thanks.

                      James
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