Here are the characters and personalities of the three great Union generals, explored with intelligence and wit by one of our most distinguished historians of the Civil War. Mr. Williams is interested not only in military skills but in the temperament for command and, most of all, in moral courage. Each of these men, he writes, represents a particular and significant aspect of leadership, and together they show a progression toward the final type of leadership that had to be developed before the war could be won. Most important, each one illustrates dramatically the relation between character and generalship. From McClellan's eighteenth-century view of war as something like a game conducted by experts on a strategic chessboard; to Sherman's understanding of the violent implications of making war against civilians; to the completeness of character displayed by Grant, Mr. Williams's absorbing investigation offers a fresh perspective on a subject of enduring interest.
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